Tim Garrett takes us inside the psychology of goal achievement.
Like most people, chances are you have had a picture in your mind about who you are and want to be.
You see yourself with the perfect body, with boundless energy, feeling great about yourself and looking even better. But like the majority of people you will stop before you achieve your goal.
Believe it or not it’s easier than you might think to achieve where you want to be and really transform your life.
First let’s set the foundation for great health. You need to ensure you are excited about achieving your goal. People that have a big enough reason to change their life do not let short term setbacks get in their way.
There was a brilliant article on the Farnam Street blog that showed how health and fitness significantly affects every aspect of business and career performance.
By extension, a healthy body is the foundation for a happy and successful life – inside and outside of work.
Determined people are always looking for big ideas that could make a huge impact on their lives and help them achieve their goals. One of these big ideas is to have lots of energy, a well-functioning body and a well-functioning mind.
Set an exciting but realistic goal, one that you write down in the present and first person tense. For example: ‘It’s September 30, 2017 and I feel on top of the world now that I weigh 74kgs’.
On the theme of weight loss, if you’re looking to slim down be aware we have rarely seen someone lose much more than 1kg of fat per week consistently for a long period of time. Of course, it is possible to lose weight faster, but losing more than 1kg a week in a healthy way without damaging your metabolism, thyroid and hormone balance just isn’t possible.
If you have 20kg or more to lose, however, you can lose more than 1kg a week, especially at the start but generally losing 1kg a week is a more realistic figure.
People who have realistic goals and are excited about achieving them often have a far greater rate of success.
There will be weeks when your body doesn’t budge. There will be business trips or injuries that means you will not exercise that week. And there will be weeks when you don’t focus enough and your diet slips. That’s why getting a balance between ‘exciting’ and realistic’ is key.
You may think that 1kg a week doesn’t sound fast or exciting enough but ask yourself when was the last time you were 10kgs lighter. And then ask whether it is worth waiting 10 weeks to achieve that.
The next step is to create a ‘reasons list’. Write down at least 20 reasons. The first five or 10 will probably be quite superficial like wanting to feel good, but when you get to 20 and over it’s likely you’ll have found several deeper reasons that will put you in a peak state and help you achieve your goal.
Keep this list somewhere handy so you can review it every day, and add reasons to it over time. People rarely go to the trouble of making a reasons list but the ones that do tend to be much more successful.
The next thing is to make sure you have the right tools. A prime example is personal trainers. As experts at helping people achieve their health and fitness goals they will be able to guide you towards making a radical difference in the quality of your life.
There is also some brilliant health information online from experts like Ray Peat, Charles Poliquin and Paul Chek.
The responsibility to actually do the hard work, however, lies with you. It’s something not everybody is prepared to put in – even when it comes to the reasons list, despite the fact it might only take between five to 20 minutes to put together. It’s down to you to turn your idea into a burning desire.
The next step is to brainstorm what may be holding you back. Is it a negative belief related to exercise or diet? Is there something you value that is going to be compromised by exercising and eating healthily? These inner conflicts stop people achieving their goals so it’s worth spending time considering and trying to overcome these barriers.
Then, after you have been focussed, determined, passionate and dedicated to your goal, it’s party time. You will see the results and you will have every right to celebrate your success.
Don’t let anyone stop you – this life is for living, doing the best you can and making a difference in the world. A fit and healthy person is the person most well equipped to do this.