How many times have you determined to achieve a goal, often at New Year or when entering some new phase in your life. You started with a flourish fuelled by all your desires and good intentions only then to have your momentum peter out well before you reached your target?
Why does this happen and what can you do to avoid this?
When we aim for something there are two sorts of motivation – the carrot or the stick. At TAG we refer to these as ‘toward’ motivation and ‘away from’ motivation.
When a fire burns brightly in you it creates an energy that compels you to put in the efforts to make progress. This can be because you hate where you are at (away from) or the vision of what you desire shines so brightly (toward) or perhaps even both.
The interesting thing about ‘away from’ motivation is that the greater the distance you move beyond it, the less power it generates for you. Also ‘toward’ motivation may be so far into the distant future that its remoteness lacks the power to drive you.
So just being motivated is not enough, it may get you started but should it subside you will run out of steam and then it doesn’t work for you unless you are highly disciplined.
So what can you do?
You need structure to keep you on track. Remember, most goals are not actually difficult in terms of what they require you to do to achieve them. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat healthily and exercise. In reality not such a great ask; certainly not the incredible efforts you would require to climb Everest. The things you need to do to reach many of your objectives are everyday focuses that you have a built in capability to attain. If you want to quit smoking, you just need to not light another cigarette. If you need to pass exams, most of you simply have to put in the requisite amount of study hours to do so.
Nothing more complicated than simply doing the basic and easily manageable things that are necessary to do and that you are so very capable of doing, yet you can make it so incredibly difficult!
Therefore if you learn to break all these elementary tasks up into a simple structure that you are able to follow, measure and monitor, along with doing what supports and maintains motivation, then you should easily get there – right?
Let’s look at how you can do this through following the formula set out in the book written by TAG Chief Executive Leader, Robert Russell, on goal setting, “If You Think You Can… YOU CAN!” Here we shall break it down into 5 simple but effective steps.
1. SMART TRIPLE ‘P’ GOALS ©
The precursor to all effective goal setting is to ensure they are SMART TRIPLE ‘P’ GOALS ©. Many people have heard of SMART goals. The triple ‘P’ element adds potency.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timeframed
TRIPLE ‘P’ – Present; Positive; Passion
Write your goal goal down in a way that includes all the above elements. You should be specific about exactly what you want to achieve. You must be able to measure the point at which it will be achieve and any interim milestones. Attainable means it should be possible to achieve it. Realistic goes further in ensuring YOU personally can achieve it. Timeframed dictates when you will achieve it. State it in the present tense as if you have achieved it. Write it in the positive – ie what you want, not what you don’t want. Finally without being passionate about getting what you want, you’ll lack the drive to get there.
An example of a SMART Triple ‘P’ Goal: ‘It’s 1 December 2019 and I am Formula 1 World Champion’.
2. BREAKING DOWN GOALS
When aiming for something that is challenging, accessing it usually involves a number of factors, as opposed to concentrating on just one thing.
Therefore the next stage is to break your goal down into a series of sub‑goals, which outline the secondary objectives or intervening processes that are instrumental to attaining it. This also allows you to track your goal more readily.
It is vital not to be absorbed solely on your final outcome but to also put effort into all aspects pertinent to getting there.
So how is this done?
TARGET, STEP AND ACTION GOALS
Your target goal sits right at the top of your goal hierarchy. It is your principal objective – the main thing you wish to achieve.
All the numerous factors needed to secure your target goal are called step goals. These are the necessary steps along the way to the final outcome.
Step goals can be broken down further into the various stages integral to their accomplishment. Each of these stages is an action goal.
In our example of becoming Formula 1 Grand Prix World Champion for the coming season, the step goals along the way could be broken down into:
Will to Win
Degree of Commitment
Maintaining Appropriate Lifestyle
Ability to Focus
Countering Negative Pressure
Each one of these step goals now needs to be divided further into the various action goals necessary to attain them.
For example, Degree of Commitment may be broken down into all the actions that are vital to increasing commitment levels. As shown below, this could include regularly repeating positive affirmations, undertaking daily positive visualisation routines and also frequent ‘Future Pacing’. This means imagining yourself at various future points after your goal has been achieved.
The action goals for Physical Fitness may mean going to the gym three days a week to build stamina and strength, together with 2 days of other activity exercises.
Step Goal Action Goal
Degree of Commitment Repeat positive affirmations twice daily
Positive visualisation exercises twice daily
Future pacing target goal benefits twice daily
Physical Fitness Gym 3 – 4 times per week
2 hours weight training per gym session
2 hours cardio training per gym session
Run, cycle, row or swim twice per week
Breaking down goals like this gives you a specific path to follow, instead of haphazardly forging your way through life.
3. SCORE YOUR STEP GOALS
Write down how close from 1–10 you are to totally fulfilling each of your Step Goals. In the previous Grand Prix example, it may look like this.
Will to Win 8
Degree of Commitment 7
Family Support 4
Maintaining Appropriate Lifestyle 8
Ability to Focus 7
Physical Fitness 9
Race Arousal 8
Track Testing 7
Driving Technique 9
Pit Stops 6
Countering Negative Pressure 5
The idea is to get your Step Goal scores up to 8’s and 9’s in order to ensure the likelihood of achieving your Target Goal. Measure them each week to maintain a focus on them increasing towards the desired maximum level.
4. FOCUS ON YOUR ACTION GOALS
While you can enjoy imagining achieving your Target Goal and also focus on building your Step Goal scores, once you start on things, it is vital you put most of your energies on your Action Goals. Doing so will be the precursor to actually improving each of the Step Goal scores to the point where your Target Goal will subsequently be attained.
5. POSITIVE MINDSET
The previous example of breaking down goals outlines all the relevant physical and mental efforts necessary to move along the road toward your goal. They will clearly require the appropriate application to augment your chance of success.
When undertaking all you need to do to reach your goal, the mindset you form within yourself will have a great bearing on the effectiveness of your efforts. It consequently deserves some mention in order to demonstrate how to generate a positive outlook and understand the benefits that arise from achieving this.
Therefore it is important to now consider the various approaches and factors that enhance and shape mindset.
One of the simplest yet most effective ways of enhancing mindset is to make sure you actually write your goals down. It is a known fact that very few people manage to attain their goals if they are not committed to paper.
Conversely those who do put their goals down in black and white are giving themselves the greatest chance of success. Indeed having a goal to hand and regularly looking at it focuses the mind towards its attainment.
As an added benefit, don’t just read it but regularly state your goal aloud. Doing this makes it more likely you will access it. So repeat it to yourself at least 10 times twice a day until you get there.
A further tip is to frequently view an image of your goal, for instance a magazine cut-out of your dream boat or a skiing holiday scene for those who would like to aspire to such things. Whatever your images, place them where they will frequently be seen.
Such practices stir the visual and creative part of the brain, convincing the mind you can achieve your dream. This in turn forms the correct neural pathways and behaviours necessary to take you toward your goal.
In essence dream your dream and live your dream as much as possible.
If you would like the actual hard book “If You Think You Can.. YOU CAN!’ for £10 + £3 p&p with additional information and support to achieve your goals, then get in touch through this link https://www.trainingalliancegroup.com/contact/ or download the eBook at US$3.99 through this Amazon Link
TRAINING ALLIANCE GROUP
Perfecting People & Performance