The 7 Step Goal Attainment Process
Bridging the gap between your dreams and reality
New Year, New You?
Research suggests that 60% of people set New Years Resolutions but only 8% are successful in achieving them with the top 3 resolutions being to eat better, exercise more and to lose weight.
Strava, the social network for athletes, has discovered that apparently January 12th is the day when most quit on their new ‘lets completely change myself’ goals. This is hardly surprising as we evolve more and more into an instant gratification society. Having what you want, exactly when you want it.
The “change everything and win big” idea is not going to turn your dreams into reality especially when talking about your health and fitness aims. Nor will the purchase of a fast fix 6-week plan to a new me (although this might kickstart you in the right direction).
Instead a small step, consistent effort approach over time is far more likely to serve you when considering your New Year potential. Building in micro “wins” along the way to help satisfy the gratification demon within.
We first make our habits and then our habits make us.John Dryden
This article will take you through our 7 Step Goal Attainment Process and in doing so will help you SUCCEED in bridging the GAP between your dreams and their reality.
I’ve been a fitness specialist for the majority of my life and alongside my fitness coaching qualifications I also have a degree in management science . This has enabled me to coach a broad spectrum of people to achieve their goals over many years.
My experience has taught me that, whether teaching children the basics of movement or assisting World Class Athletes to become champions in their sports, goal attainment always follows the exact same goal setting and achievement process.
I regularly use this process to set and achieve monthly goals in all areas of my life. It has assisted me greatly in numerous business ventures, as a competitive CrossFit athlete and with work life balance commitments.
The Goal Attainment Process
1. Select Your Goal
Start with your lifetime goal.
If you aren’t sure what this is, ask yourself, what would you be proud to say you have achieved? What experience would you like to relay to your grandchildren?
Don’t be afraid to dream big here. Let your imagination take over and don’t hold back.
If you laugh at your own lifetime goal you are probably on the right track. If it seems silly or too optimistic, believe in yourself. You can achieve anything that you set your mind to, and by building the right roadmap and making a commitment to take the necessary smaller steps, there is no reason why this can’t be attained.
This can then be broken down into long-term goals (5-10 years) and then medium-term goals (1-5 years). These can be broken into micro (monthly) goals, and these can then be made into weekly or daily habits that you need to develop in order to achieve them.
It is important to not set too many goals. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by prioritising the key things that need to happen to achieve the desired result. There is only so much you can do in one day, so set yourself up to succeed each day by setting attainable micro goals.
Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.
Example of a SMART goal:
By 31st December 2020 I will be able to complete five unbroken strict and unassisted pull ups.
Example of non-SMART goal:
Develop pull up strength
Set your goals with a positive mindset and ensure that the long-term goal is aligned with good health and a sustainable journey. It needs to be something you enjoy, so choose activities that suit your lifestyle and personality.
2. Understand its purpose
Knowing and then writing down the purpose of a goal is essential. It will state the fundamental reason and importance of the goal, which can then be reflected back upon when obstacles crop up along the way.
It is important to not let the goal define you as a person, but to instead acknowledge that the meaning behind the journey toward attaining the goal is the most important factor.
There are numerous consequences to not having a clear goal or a plan of action. It can lead to a lack of focus and an inability to prioritise activities. Or it can leave you doing the same thing day in, day, and never making a real progress. This can affect a person’s confidence in their ability to achieve more, it can shape their day-to-day mental state, and this can limit their overall happiness.
For example, if your goal is to run The London Marathon, the purpose might be to challenge yourself to reach a level of endurance that you have never achieved before. The build-up of training prior to the event would determine whether this goal is attained. But the event itself, The London Marathon, is only the test of many months of hard work.
If, for example, you were struck down by illness on the day of the event and were unable to attend, the fact that you did not complete The London Marathon would not signify the failure your goal. Instead, you should be content in the knowledge that you have met your own expectations at each stage through the step-by-step progress of training toward your goal.
3. Communicate Your Aim
This could involve having an accountability buddy or group, doing something for charity or simply announcing your goal to family and friends.
Being accountable to others and immersing yourself in a group with people who are all attempting to strive towards the same goal is a lot more motivating and enjoyable than going through the process alone.
Ask for help and advice with setting your goals and the ways in which you can achieve them. There are often so many different routes or methods to achieve a desired result, and asking experts for assistance will ensure you are taking the route most suitable to you and your lifestyle.
4. Create a Roadmap
This involves the step-by-step breakdown of the lifetime or long-term goal into the daily habits or activities needed to attain it. Spend your time here and be as detailed as you can.
Create a timeline but don’t look at the roadmap as a fixed, unchangeable route. Revisit it often and be prepared to change the route when necessary.
To understand where you need to go first you will need to take stock of where you are now. Analyse your current strengths and weaknesses to assess your starting point. Educate yourself on the technicalities of moving from your current state to each of the next stages in your plan.
Factor in a holistic approach to attaining the stages along your roadmap so that the journey can be truly sustainable. For example, if you want to achieve a certain level of fitness, you will need to exercise but will also need to factor in nutrition and other wellbeing indicators such as sleep, stress, and mental state over time.
Conduct some ‘what-if’ planning in preparation for hardships along the way, and consider how you might react to things that are outside of your control.
5. Execute The Plan
So the plan is now in place and all you need to do is follow the steps within it. Easy! Right?
It might be simple, but it isn’t easy. The hard part is developing the necessary discipline and commitment to form the habits required to fulfil each step.
This is the crunch point.
We have an incredible ability to adapt to just about anything. The hard part is transitioning to a new normal and not just being in the new normal.
It is common for people to only spend time learning do something until they are proficient at it – this is a mistake. The way to become truly skilled at a task is to start doing it (i.e. transition into doing it) and then continue to practice it consistently over time. This will then allow you to become more than proficient; you will master the new skill.
Learning to embrace the journey of skill development and finding ways to have fun through this process will help. It is also important to celebrate the small wins along the way as well as embracing failures as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the process.
6. Evaluate The Outcomes
Track, measure and record your progress against the plan.
Are there more efficient ways of doing tasks that will serve you for the next part of your journey?
What have you learnt and how have you developed along the way?
Always look back and reflect. Confidence to propel you further forward can be built by remembering where you started and by evaluating the progress you have had to make to be where you are today.
7. Determine The Next Steps
Once you attain your short or long-term goals, repeat the process, and don’t stop until you fulfil your purpose.
WHY SET GOALS?
Not having a clear plan of action can lead to a lack of focus and an inability to prioritize activities. It can leave you doing the same thing day in, day out, and never making real progress. This can affect a person’s confidence in their ability to achieve more, it can shape their day-to-day mental state, and this can limit their overall happiness.
Without a plan you are more likely to get distracted from activities that truly matter. It will almost certainly lead to results being attained at a much slower rate (if at all!) and you are more likely to get stuck in a cycle of procrastination, always thinking about doing something but never taking action.
Our 7 step process for goal attainment will give you a clear daily progressional path towards your longer term purpose and will therefore effectively turn your dreams into a real eventuality.
Make yourself accountable to your goals.
Let us know your New Year Goals by commenting below or following us on our social media platforms @theboxportsmouth @clairemarshuk
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