Use This Simple 7-Step Goal Setting Process to Actually Reach Your Fitness Goals
Setting goals is a great way to help clarify what we want. The problem is that most of us stop there.
While many people use the SMART system for setting goals (a S.M.A.R.T. goal is one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound), I propose a better, more thorough way.
You see, SMART goals help us better clarify what we want. But again, we’re still stuck on the what.
The reality is that there are 4 parts to every goal:
What do we want
Why do we want it
How we’re going to do it
Who is in our support system
My OCD so badly wants to include a “where” in there but I just can’t find a way to make it fit. So we’ll ignore that for now.
This is one of the first components of the Perfect Fitness Framework. We can’t do more of what works and less of what doesn’t if we don’t know what we’re trying to do or why we’re trying to do it. The “how” is the piece most supported by the PFF because we may think something will work for us but when we start working at it we may uncover it’s not the best fit.
And our support system is so important because this is life and we’re all in this together. When we get frustrated or discouraged, we need a powerful team to help pick us back up and help hold us accountable.
So, let’s look at a 7-Step Goal Setting Process designed to cover each of the four components for your goals.
1. Identify as many goals as you would like. These can span across every area of your life and don’t have to just be limited to your fitness and nutrition goals.
2. Figure out Why each of these goals are important to you. Keep reading and I’ll share with you an exercise that will help you uncover your REAL why.
3. Break each goal down into the necessary skills/habits/behaviors needed. Seriously, keep reading. I have something for you here as well.
4. Prioritize the list of behaviors/skills/habits identified in Step 3- this will usually align pretty well with your goals and their respective level of importance, though not always. You may find that certain behaviors overlap across multiple goals - nothing exists in isolation.
5. Pick ONE skill/behavior/habit and focus on that for roughly 2-4 weeks. Some behaviors take longer than others so give yourself the time and space to experiment and explore.
6. Assess and adapt. How did that work for you? Did that behavior move you closer to your goal? Did your priority change? Does your "backlog" still reflect what matters to you.
7. Repeat for the next behavior!
Bonus: Pull in your support system whenever needed. You may need more help with certain steps over others. Add this as a prerequisite step if you don’t have one in place.
Why do we use this approach? Let's say you use the entire 4 weeks to develop a new behavior/habit/skill. At the end of 12 months, you'll have built out about 12 new behaviors. Think about what your life will look like at the end of 12 months. This is why I'm so adamant about behaviors over outcomes. It's a subtle shift, but one that can have an exponential return - especially since behaviors tend to compound over time!
Ready to put this into action? Good!
I want to send you three different resources to help make this goal-setting process a reality.
Enter your best email to receive:
-a PDF “cheat sheet” of the 7 Step Goal Setting Process
-my “5 Whys” Exercise to help uncover what each of your goals really mean to you
-my Outcomes vs. Behaviors Worksheet to help you find the skills/habits/behaviors needed to reach your goals