When embarking on a new fitness routine or weight loss mission people tend to look at the different exercise routines and various diets out there before they start their journey. This is all well and good but before we can even contemplate looking at these, we need to know what we are striving towards. We need to set our goals in place. Once we have our goals firmly nailed down, then and only then can we plan how to get there.
Let’s face it. We are all results orientated. It is the society we live in today. In order to achieve success and gain the results we want, we need to have the correct process in place (our game plan). In order to implement this game plan we need clarity, clarity on what we want. Without clarity we will never achieve.
We like to keep things simple. Lets look at our 3 W’s for achieving goals.
What you want exactly.
There is no point in saying lose weight, tone up or have more money. Simply finding a euro or a dollar on the street will automatically fulfill the more money need. I doubt that is what you meant. The same goes for lose weight. I’m sure after sweating a little the scales will show a slight reduction in weight, goal achieved. Is that what you meant? Probably not. Here we need to be very specific. How many pounds down or up and in what time frame. As long as this time frame is realistic then we are off to a good start.
Why you want that particular goal?
Look deep here. Really think about the benefit you will get by achieving this goal. If you attach emotion to the goal then you are more likely to stick with the process and achieve success. There are two emotions to attach to your goal, pleasure and pain.
Pleasure – how good will it feel to get where you want to get to? If it is to drop a few pounds then how will you feel looking in the mirror with your new shape? How good will it feel to fit into that dress, or suit, or bikini? Stick with that emotion. Feel the sense of happiness. That’s the pleasure.
Now the Pain – what will it feel like if you cant fit into that dress or suit, that bikini? What if you don’t achieve this goal? You remain the same after the effort you put in. Now of course everybody should be happy with who the are and how they are but it doesn’t stop us from wanting a little more, its how we are.
Once these 2 emotions are firmly attached to the goal we are now more likely to succeed.
You have to work towards it.
If you don’t get up and do something about it, it isn’t going to happen. The plan wont work if you don’t. For every goal there is a price to pay and only you can decide whether or not your goal is worth the price. Let’s just take the scenario of losing 7 pounds in 7 weeks. Nice time frame, long enough to allow a steady fall of 1 pound a week, a deficit of 500 calories a day. For this simply watching our food and taking out 500 calories should work, or keep the food the same and burn off 500 calories with exercise, or a mix of both. A little work is needed but it is very manageable. The price to pay seems fine. However, if we want to drop 7 pounds in 4 weeks then we need to burn nearly 1000 calories a day. This might mean training twice a day and restricting calorie intake. It might mean not being able to go out with friends because you are watching your food, or missing your favorite tv show because you have to work out, or not spending as much time with family and loved ones. The price to pay here is a lot higher. Again only you can decide if that price is worth paying.
So, some things need to be considered. Once you are crystal clear on what you want, have attached the emotions of pleasure and pain around your goal and also decided that the price to pay is worth it, you then need to set up some positive habits that will help you stick to the process. Again we like to keep it simple. For goal setting we have the 3 W’s, what, why and work. For habits we have the 3 R’s, by James Clear.
A signal that you have that reminds you to do something. The example James uses is the telephone rings. That’s a signal we can all relate to I’m sure.
This is the action you take because of the reminder. In our example above, our routine would be to answer the phone.
The result of sticking to the routine. Again, using the example above, we find out who is calling and for what reason. This might not always be a reward, depends on who’s calling…..
To start the process to create a new habit, physical reminders are the best. So, if you want to get some exercise done early in the morning, your reminder could be leaving your gym clothes out the night before. That way when you wake up, you notice the gym gear, that is your cue to do something, or your reminder. It also is one less thing for you to have to organise when you get up 😉
Your routine then will be performing your exercise routine and your reward will be feeling great and looking great.
This then will cement the routine and eventually you won’t need the reminder, as the routine will be part of your daily schedule.
So there you have it.
Use the 3 W’s for goal setting and the 3 R’s to create your new habit
Until next time
Ant & Ali