Setting Goals According To Your Identity & Purpose
Health depends on a strong foundation! Before you embark on a healthier lifestyle, you must first achieve a mindset that will reinforce success. Creating a long-term, sustainable routine is hard, especially in your first month into the process. Breaking unhealthy old habits and creating new healthy ones will take a strong mindset alongside a logical goal-setting process.
First and foremost, please realize that the real “success secret” doesn’t lie in any book or blog; it lies within you! It is all about your desire and willingness to stick to the plan and being consistent!
One of my mentors, Charles Poliquin, once taught me the “myth of discipline.” In the end, it always boils down to what you love and how bad you want something. You either want to lose your belly fat, or you want to eat this cake. Which gets you more excited?
Let’s be real; life is going to get in the way, but how you react to that and how you reinforce your goal is in your hands.
Excellent health is typically a matter of choice and mindset. Barring unforeseen circumstances or medical issues, we all want to be in control of our health. We are often so tangled up in worries like finances, career, and family, that we almost forget about our health. We may feel stuck in this situation if we don’t establish a sustained plan of achieving our health goals. We need to want to achieve our goals. Read it again!
I have defined a few set of rules that, if worked upon, cannot only bring about changes in the lifestyle, but improve one’s health for good.
- Prioritize yourself.
- Consistency is the key.
- Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.
- Make gaining muscle a top priority.
- Plan ahead.
- Manage stress to the best of your abilities.
Health Is the Greatest Wealth
As cliché as it may sounds, it’s true! You may look in the mirror and see an out-of-shape figure, but I see an individual with the potential to transform. It is human nature to follow the path of least resistance, which is why goal-setting is so important.
Your quest for any ‘want’ in life must be outlined correctly by specific and measurable goals that have defined deadlines. We always hear that failing to plan is planning to fail. It is the same with health and wellness goals!
When we feel discouraged, we get stuck in cycles of negativity. We may lament the past, judge ourselves as unlovable, blame others for our issues, or envision a grim future. These ruminative cycles compound our misery and anger and also reduce our motivation to proceed.
I have observed and been involved with all types of behaviors, and I want to let you in on a little secret to success. The individuals that focus on behaviors instead of their identity and purpose always burn out. They may find short term success but get long term failure.
Having a goal or vision is one of the most prominent qualities of any leader. Similarly, you are the leader of your life. You lead yourself into any physical or emotional ventures. Your mind is a powerful tool that can shape your reality.
When setting your goals for a sustainable lifestyle, I suggest you ask yourself, ‘Who do I have to become to achieve these goals? What is my purpose in life?’ Once these are established, you will notice how easy it is to stick to the necessary behaviors that your goals demand.
Let’s consider me as an example:
“Identity and Purpose” – I am a lean, healthy, fit, parent/husband, and a boss. I choose healthy foods that help me build muscles and provide my body with sufficient nutrients and energy throughout the day. My purpose in life is to serve as many people as I can to better health.
What does a person like this do to live up to their identity?
“Behaviors” – I work out four times every week; I grocery shop once per week; I food prep twice per week; I ensure I get at least 7 hours of sleep; I take my supplements, etc.
“Goals” – I achieved 15 pounds of weight loss; I gained 5 pounds of lean muscle; I can now do ten chin-ups; I can now squat twice my body weight, etc.
Goal Setting Doesn’t Have to be Hard
Shoot for the stars while keeping your feet on the ground!
You need to unleash your imagination and ambition. Put your reservations aside, and dream bigger when setting your goals. Once you have set a goal for yourself, be determined to achieve it. Before that, however, make sure your goal is attainable. It can be a little tough to accomplish, but it shouldn’t be unrealistic. Also, set a reasonable time frame to accomplish it.
You can set many types of goals. Measurable goals can be made in areas such as nutrition, body composition, strength, weight, stress reduction, sleep, productivity, or energy.
When creating goals, it’s best to make them assessable and realistic. There will be setbacks, but if we consistently take two steps forward and one step back, long term progress is still made.
Goals are powerful when set correctly. Without them, we tend to focus on obstacles, and anytime we focus on an obstacle, we lose sight of the goal. So, we need that driving force in our life to keep us on course!
But why is setting realistic goals so crucial to maintaining balanced health?
When we set unrealistic goals, we are prone to think of them as achievable by any means. Without realizing the nature of the goals, we blindly follow them wherever they lead. When we don’t achieve these goals in the given time, they bring us down from where we first started.
Although failure is a part of goal setting and planning, most times, the ‘lessons learned’ approach is overshadowed by the deep discouragement that accompanies a letdown. When a person is discouraged by their performance, the loss reflects in their physical and mental health. It can even halt their future progress.
Goal Setting: 6 Step Process
Write this information down and keep it close! This will keep you on track and allow you to see how far you’ve come! Remember, trying to achieve everything all at once (1-year goal) is often too overwhelming. Breaking down your ultimate goal into incremental steps will keep you aligned and focused.
Also, make sure you celebrate any achievement along the way as this prevents a drop in motivation.
Step 1. Always Begin with the End in Mind
What do you want to achieve in the next year? You must first determine your long-term goal. It must be specific, have a deadline, and be measurable. Be sure to assess your capabilities and the behaviors you are willing to change.
Step 2. Determine Your First Mid-term Goal
Mid-term goals are three months long. They are essential as they pace you for achieving the long term goal. You must reset these goals every three months until your yearly goal is completed.
Step 3. Determine Your Short-term Goals
Short-term goals are one month long. Weekly habitual goals usually accompany these. These act as good motivators on the journey toward your ultimate goal.
Step 4. Determine Affirmations and Action Statements
These are positive statements you tell yourself every day. You must state your goal and have an emotion linked to it. Goals must be 100% believed in order to be achieved!
The power of affirmations follows us throughout the day – be it at work, home, gym, sports ground, or our solitude. The human brain seems wired to use this power of affirmations against itself. We make mistakes, and we say, “I am so clumsy,” or “I am not qualified enough.” We don’t realize the impact our words have on us and our daily lives!
The power of positive affirmations is that it will always come looking for you. Clumsiness will come looking if you keep telling yourself, “I am clumsy.” It is as though you invite the things you say. Whatever you associate with yourself through your pep talk (affirmations), you hand out an invitation to it. You open the doors of its influence in your life!
However, the good news is that you get to choose all your decisions about good health. Go through your day saying, “I am blessed,” and blessings will follow. Tell yourself, “I am talented,” “I am healthy,” “I am capable,” “I am happy,” and those things will follow you, even during dark times. When you take charge of your “I am,” you will begin to invite strength, contentment, and power in your life.
On the other hand, negative self-talk leads to negative perceptions. Those perceptions attract negative behaviors. This is why you have to be very careful about the “I am’” that you choose.
When you talk positively to yourself, you prepare yourself for the future. Strength, discipline, health, and abundance start heading your way once you start being optimistic and confident. This leads us to another concept – the relationship between health and positive self-talk, which we will discuss later.
Step 5. Create a Motivating Tool
Motivation is one of the core elements that make any process happen. Without motivation, a task becomes mechanical, involving no feelings or passion. Motivation is driven by passion and will. It is what your client feels as they walk through your gym’s door. They have a vision, a goal, and a deep desire for what they want to achieve.
Motivation keeps you going, so stay in the present moment, enjoy the process and keep yourself motivated. When you appreciate the present, you focus on the progress you have made so far. You feel a sense of achievement and control, which ultimately helps you develop a positive perception. You attract more affirmative situations and the same vibrating energies in your life.
It’s like seeing the reflection of your thoughts in the mirror, but instead, the progress is visible on your physical self. If you worry about what’s going to happen next or where to take it from there, it will keep you from living in the present moment and appreciate it. Fears of tomorrow will occupy your mind. This constant worrying will lead to negativity, which will indirectly undermine and demotivate you.
You can choose to live in the present moment. And when you do, make sure to think of only that moment in your life. There are several other reasons you need to appreciate your progress by creating a motivating tool:
- It is a visual reminder.
- It is selected to support your goal at hand.
- It needs to motivate and get you fired up.
Step 6. Create an Emotional Attachment
Emotions are an essential part of the human psyche. They add meaning to everyday tasks. You must have read about the power of positive thoughts and how they impact your mood, mind, and life. Negative thoughts have the same effect. The consequences are far-reaching and affect your physical, mental, emotional, and even social health. Also, they influence your personal and professional life.
A life without emotions is a life without colors. You can donate to charity, spend time with your family, travel alone, achieve good grades, and ace a challenge – but what would they mean without emotions?
From excitement to resentment, sorrow to happiness, satisfaction to disappointment – emotions add texture to human lives. They shape your cognitive patterns, actions, and behaviors. Your emotions also influence your decisions. An excellent tip for goal setting is to attach emotion to whatever goal you set. You will be more likely to fight for it then.
Take a moment to:
- Look at your goals.
- Look at your behavior.
- Observe whether or not your behavior matches your goals.
Quick Recap and Tips for Goal Setting
- Write them down.
- Measurable, specific, and time-sensitive.
- Review them daily by using the below bullet point tips
- Make a Word document of your goals and take a screenshot to use as the wallpaper on your phone. It’s best to put it on the lock screen, so you see it more often.
- Put the screenshot on your computer as a screensaver.
- Print out the document and put it in a place where you will see it often.
- Set recurring reminders in your calendar that pops up to remind you of your goals and when they’re due. “Did you do anything to accomplish your goals today?”
- Put your goals on a whiteboard where you’ll see them first thing in the morning, such as in your bathroom.
- Add a “goal progress report” to-do to your calendar for the end of the week on Fridays.
Let’s look at some examples of how we can implement these rules in setting our goals:
- Long-term goal: I will lose 24 pounds of fat and gain 12 pounds of lean muscle so I can look good in my dress for next year’s wedding.
- Mid-term goal: I will lose 6 pounds of fat and gain 3 pounds of muscle mass over the next three months.
- Short-term goal: I will lose 2 pounds of fat and gain 1 pound of lean muscle mass this month.
- Weekly goal: I will work out four times this week, and I will only eat carbs two days out of 7.
- Affirmations and Action Statements: I look and feel great. I cannot believe how much better I feel with losing 24 pounds. It was so rewarding to receive all the compliments at the wedding.
Document Your Progress Visually
Keeping track of your progress is an essential element. I encourage you to take pictures of yourself once per month to see your progress. You may not notice small changes when you look at yourself every day. Before and after photos can help you to see where actual progress is made.
Some reasons why keeping a progress report is so important are:
- It indicates your performance and any increase or decrease in it.
- It helps you stay accountable.
- It is a great motivational tool.
- It helps keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.
Here are some tips for taking visual-progress photos:
- Stand against a bare wall.
- Men should wear smaller shorts; women should wear a bathing suit.
- Set the camera, so it captures you from head to toe.
- Use a well-lit room without much overhead light, so there aren’t too many shadows.
- Take four photos: front, back, left, and right sides.
- Take one photo per month.
Be sure to use the same lighting and distance every time for consistent photos that will better show your results!
If you can harness your drive, focus, and determination, then anything is possible. Remember, the things you tell yourself can become your greatest stressor for failure or your best ally for success. The choice is yours!