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Goal setting and achievement – how I do it:

If you made some new years resolutions, you probably started doing something about achieving your goals on January 1st. Most people make a health or fitness goals such as, ‘I’m going to go to the gym 3 times a week’, or ‘I’m going to run around the block 3 nights a week’ – etc. You may also have made personal improvement goals such as ‘I’m going to read a book 5 nights a week’ – it doesn’t matter what the goal, this is the important bit:

Whatever your resolution, it is now the 1st of February; we are a month into the year. If we apply Pareto’s principle we can assume that 80% of all the people that set off with the best of intentions will have already broken their pledge leaving only 20% of you still ‘running around the block’ – (or whatever it is you decided to do.)

What stops us from achieving our goals?

Sticking to your new years resolution takes a lot of willpower, especially if you have set yourself a hard target – and we often set goals that are so much of a stretch and we make it hard for ourselves.

If for example, I know a guy in his 30s, who had rarely done any exercise since his teenage years, who decided he was going to do a triathlon. He set himself a training program that was too strenuous for his level of fitness and within three weeks he was so exhausted that he gave up.

There are a lot of other reasons why we don’t achieve, and I’ll write about some more in other articles, but if, like my friend you have stopped doing what you said you would do in the new year, read on:

How to stick to your goals

No matter what your goal is, the best way to achieve it is to firstly tell as many people you care about just what you plan to do, and then I always recommend ‘eating the elephant one bite at a time’.

In my case I tell people I know first hand and I tell the world by writing about what I’m doing on this blog. Other options you may chose are to announce your resolution on your Facebook page.

The trick I use to reach my fitness goals is to set one over arching goal and then make lots of little goals that add up to me achieving it. This is the same thing I do in my staff performance coaching business, where I give clients small tasks to do – each task builds upon the next until, six months down the track they look back and notice a big change in their thinking and their performance.

So the over arching fitness goal I set myself for this year is to run/jog at least 1000 miles – which is 1,609.34 kilometres in 2009. That is quite a bit further than I have ever done in a year before and it sounds like a lot if you say ‘I’m going ot jog a thousand miles this year’. But when you break that down it is only 30.94km per week – so I round that up to 32km.

I know that there will be weeks (especially in winter) when I won’t want to jog 20km, let alone 32km, so I set myself a mini goals which I change every month. 32km a week is 134 per month so in Januarry I set a mini goal of 140km with the intention of doing a bit more so that I have a buffer later in the year.

140km in a month is a lot less daunting than 1609 in a year. I actually did 164km in Januarry so I was able to have a nice 3 day rest period over the weekend before I start my February mini goal.

In February I have set myself a totally different jogging schedule than the one in January. In Feb, I’ll be off for my morning runs on different days and doing different lengths over different routes, so it is actually a completely different goal – and I only have to keep it up for four weeks.

Managing to stick to a new years resolution for only 4 weeks isn’t too hard is it.

If you are feeling like you’ve let yourself down when it comes to sticking to your new years resolution, how about you start again right now? Who said you have to wait another 11 months.