Goal Setting

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Goal Setting

The most important part of your success is having a clear idea of where you want to go. To get started on the right foot we want to define some goals. But before we do that let’s talk about the psychology of goal setting and why it works.
Goal setting is a powerful tool to stay motivated and steer you in the direction you want to go. But often where we dream of being, or what we dream of doing, seems so far away from where we currently are, that the thought of failing to get there is terrifying.

Mindset and motivation. Pretty much a critical step along the process. Really this is where we’re going to spend a lot of time because this is what’s holding most people back and going to be a big road block for a lot of us. Now we’re only into week three, you should be onto your week three exercise program and your week three meal plan. What we’re trying to do here is we’re just trying to build little by little each week so that you can sort of see how the pieces all come together and we’re not trying to change too much too soon because we really just want to be able to layer it in so to speak.

We’re going to talk about mindset and motivation a little bit more in depth today and then talk about the week three program and what your homework is for this week. Continuing on from what we’ve done so far, we’ve looked at goals, we’ve looked at diet, we’ve looked at a few things in terms of that. We write goals first, diet second and then we’re looking at mindset.

Really for me, like these two essentially go hand in hand and if we add motivation off to the side, it’s pretty much all combined in a web-like way because your goals affect your motivation, your mindset affects your motivation and they all affect each other because you can be motivated as hell and not have a goal in mind and then you’ll take no action. You can have the biggest goal in the world, but you’ve got crap motivation, you’re going to have an ordinary mindset.

Say you’ve got an excellent mindset, but you’ve got ordinary goals and your motivation isn’t very good and you can sort of see how it all plays together. I don’t claim to be some sort of psychological genius or anything like that, but definitely what I do notice, particularly with weight loss clients or people that are looking to get fit and healthy through exercise, is that they’re very vague about what it is they want and they’re not really willing to put the work into achieve what they need to.

They say, “I’m not motivated.” They can turn on the tele, watch Biggest Loser and you got all those characters screaming and carrying on, is that motivating? Is that motivation? No, it’s not motivating at all really. It’s just holding you accountable for something that you don’t want to do. Essentially what we want to do is we want to flip that on it’s head and we want to create motivation that actually drives you towards your goal.

Now we look at motivation like a table top. These are the legs. This is a terrible table, but you get the idea. That’s the ground that it’s connected to. What’s holding up your motivation? Think about it that way. To have motivation, you’ve got to want something and that’s generally the goal. Whatever that is. Now everyone’s heard you should have goals, et cetera and that’s why we took the time up front to really identify the why, the why it is that you want it and it’s different for everyone.

This is really what is critical because all these things layering on the top like I drew the diagram and how it all points to your goal, but more than mindset and motivation, if we look at them together, they really form the basis of how to get a result, how to get whatever this goal is. That’s the direction we want to move towards. The problem is these things are very weak, very shaky, not very clear. If you were trying to build a house like this, how stable and how successful do you think this is going to be?

Just to give you a pretty simple analogy, but not very strong. Fear and I’ll use the word pleasure are what motivates people. If you’re hurt or lost or in pain or pleasure, some combination of those two. Some people are motivated by pleasure, some people are motivated by fear and essentially we’ll talk about layers and beliefs a little bit in an audio that we’re going to list down at the bottom here that goes into a little bit more.

Essentially what you’ve got to recognize is fear can move you towards your goal and pleasure can move you towards your goal. The question is which one is the one that resonates with you? I know, for me, if you think back to school and you had an assignment due or a piece of homework, there was fear that you’re going to get yelled at by the teacher that took you to take action and get towards that goal. On the flip side there, something pleasurable like you might go on holidays, that’s a motivator towards a particular goal.

You’re going to be somewhere on this spectrum here, you’re going to be weighted one way or the other and that’s going to help you to identify which one you are. Really because the thing is you’ve just got to think back to examples of your life where you’ve achieved a goal or something and what motivated you, was it fear or pleasure? Once you know that, you can sit it up so that you can actually motivate yourself by knowing, okay, if I do this, then this is going happen and then, okay, yeah, I’ve got to just absolutely take action and do it.

We want to be able to identify those, make them clear in our mind and then take action because in the middle here is what we would call procrastination. Procrastination is we don’t do anything, we’re balanced, like there’s no fear, there’s no pleasure and we could be very neutral, a somewhat state of boredom. Nothing is forcing you to take action or move in a direction because there’s been plenty of times where you were fearful and took action and plenty of times when you are seeking pleasure because the outcome is only pleasurable and that took you to take action and get towards your goal.

Really what we find is this is the one, fear, which is the one that really drives the boat for a lot of people, particularly when it comes to losing weight because they’re fearful of dying, they’re fearful of having cancer, they’re fearful of being fat, fearful of being embarrassed, all these things. Eventually what happens is this thing gets so big and they’ll just go, “I’m not going to live this way anymore. I’m going to try and get my goal.”

Generally what happens is people get to here, they’re not aware of this circle, they’ve not got education behind them to go and get this goal and then they fail. Then what happens is it’s like a negative loop. Try and succeed, fail. Try and succeed, fail. Get more fearful, more fearful. It almost can develop into like anxiety, just a downward spiral of not feeling great about yourself and what you’re trying to achieve.

How do we break this cycle? How do we stop it? One thing we need to do is recognize that’s what happening. I’ll put pleasure over here just to help illustrate it, they live on like a balance, like a seesaw. We want to essentially use this to get moving and we also want to use this one as well, so we want to make sure they’re equal. Now it’s very hard to get examples of pleasure in your life or things you want to move towards because generally you’ve been weighted this way for so long and that’s what causes you to take not as much action, you don’t feel as confident and then you generally don’t have the energy and the drive and the motivation to get to that goal.

When you’re moving towards pleasure, think of it, it’s the exact same thing. You get a little win here, bang, you’re back to pleasure. You get another big win and then slowly, slowly, you can build it the same way as you build this one. Generally what people do is, they’re all in a pile over here and they let things just get out of control and they snowball over to the opposite side. Really what you want to do is you want to set it up so you can easily win.

Now that may sound strange, but we’ve got to think of it as how can we get some quick wins to make you feel good? Now hopefully if you’ve followed my advice on the diet and the first week’s training, you might have lost one to three to five KGs already and that’s the same scenario I’m talking about. You’re setting it up so you can have a little win and then that’s going to build up that positive belief and then you’re going to go, “Yep, I’ve already done that. What’s the next thing? Yep, got that. Next thing?”

Then build up your resilience and your confidence and your motivation to really keep going. The problem is when it starts to get towards ten, fifteen kilos, you can start to go back this way into the negative because it gets harder and harder, but what you want to do is you want to take your emotions out of it and just look at it logically, but also at the same time, keep an eye on what is really driving you at that time.

Is it more the negative or is it more the positive? Try to keep them equal because a good balance between the two is going to give you good consistent results because if we know that fear is a motivating factor, we can use that, but on the flip side, we’ve got to remain positive so we don’t go over too far to the other. If you ever see people that are chronically upset or chronically down, just not very happy people, chances are they’re living over on this side a lot of the time.

Look for those quick wins, build it up slowly, start little by little. Same way as you would build this, but you’re building this consciously, not letting autopilot take over. That pretty much sums up

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5 Comments

  • StacyK

    Reply Reply November 28, 2015

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve always been a “goal-setter”, but my problem is that I always write goals that are larger than life and super challenging. Today, I’m going to take another look at my list and use your advice to break each one down into smaller and more reachable goals. Maybe I’ll even try the visualization trick as well! Now I’m feeling motivated to get started again!

    • Chris Bridger

      Reply Reply December 5, 2015

      A good tip is to think of goals as problems that need solving. Rather than focusing on the result too much the problems or challenges in the way of reaching those goals where we need to work on. When i have clients to list all the problems towards reach their goal. Then coming up with a plan to solve each of those small problems gives them a plan to follow. Because all they need to do is implement one thing at a time and the results will come.

      • StacyK

        Reply Reply December 10, 2015

        Yes, sometimes I’m just completely overwhelmed. I love the idea of seeing each small goal as a little problem that needs solving. I love puzzles and challenges! Thanks a lot for the tip!

  • Cristina

    Reply Reply December 18, 2015

    I like to set goals AND rewards for myself when I reach them. It makes it that much more fun and easier, too. Love this post!

  • Emily

    Reply Reply December 24, 2015

    Goals should be realistic, though, and many fail because trying to drop 50 pounds between Easter and bikini season is too much of an endeavor for most. Incentives! Now, those can be powerful. Class reunion, cute guy, etc.

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