6 Proven Steps for Effective Goal Setting
Goal Setting with Dr. Nic Gill! Firstly, here is a bit about Gill himself.
Nic Gill has been the Head Of Performance for the All Blacks for the past 15 years, a team who are often referred to as the most successful sporting team in history. Generally, success starts with setting meaningful goals, so we thought there was no one better than Nic to help educate our community around how to set goals and become successful.
WHY SHOULD WE SET GOALS?
Goal setting in any facet of life helps provide us with direction, clarity, purpose, motivation and satisfaction.
One important thing to remember when setting goals is that we all have our own idea of what ‘healthy’ is. There is no right or wrong - so the main thing to do is to identify what’s important to you and work towards achieving that.
In today’s hyper-connected world, it can feel like there’s always someone telling us how we should feel and what our goals should be. Everything we see on social media and across the internet is generally intended to inspire, however, we must remember that it is someone else’s life and someone else’s goals. What should matter the most to you is your life and your goals.
In order to discover what matters most to you, the first step is to stop looking to the outside world and start looking within yourself.
THE STEPS TOWARDS ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS:
Taking some quiet time out to visualise what your fittest, healthiest, happiest self looks like can be a powerful exercise to determine what your goals should be. Try to use all of your senses and ask yourself the following questions:
How do I feel getting out of bed every morning?
How is my general mood and how are my energy levels throughout the day?
What fitness milestones have I ticked off my list?
What am I proud to say I have accomplished?
Once you have written down your thoughts, you should have a good understanding of what is meaningful to you regarding your health and fitness, so you can begin to define some goals!
2. SET YOUR GOALS USING S.M.A.R.T. PRINCIPLES
Golden Rule! If you want to achieve something, you have to know exactly what it is you want to achieve and give yourself a deadline. The S.M.A.R.T. guideline means you are Specific around what your goals are, you can Measure (and therefore track progress), they are Achievable and Realistic, and finally they have a Timeline (or deadline).
SMART goals with clear outputs are definitely harder to come up with, but make the goals easier to achieve.
Here are some examples to help you change your statements to goals.
“I want to be fitter”
“I will be fit enough to run my first 10km in March without stopping”
“I want to get stronger”
“I will be strong enough to do an 80kg deadlift by October”
3. DEFINE WHY EACH OF THOSE GOALS IS IMPORTANT TO YOU
Once you have your list of goals, it’s important to then revisit why each of those goals is important to you. Think about what it will mean for your life to achieve those goals and who else it will impact. If you don’t have a strong why for achieving your goals, go back to step one.
E.g. “I want to be strong enough and fit enough to live my life free of restrictions, so I can stay healthy and experience the world with my children. Being able to deadlift more, means I am building a stronger, more resilient body.”
4. MAKE YOUR GOALS VISIBLE
Life gets busy and so do we, so it’s super important to have your goals written somewhere you see them on a regular basis (daily is ideal). Include what the goal is, why it’s important to you and when you will achieve it. This is so you are constantly reminded to do the daily tasks that will lead you closer to your goal. It’s also a good idea to share your goals with others to create accountability and so those close to you can support and encourage you when they see you might need it!
5. BREAKING DOWN YOUR GOALS + BUILDING HABITS
Building new habits - or breaking old ones - is hard, but it’s SO worth it! If you’re making a conscious choice to make a change, here are some tips that will make it a lot easier for you to stick to your new habits.
Make sure you want to change: If you don’t have a strong ‘why’ - a strong reason for changing, then you don’t have anything to fall back on when things get tough.
Make sure you break-down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Start with small daily actions that will help you move closer to your goal.
Ask yourself ‘Will this action move me closer or further away from my goal?’
6. CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS
We might be bias, but we think this is the most important step in the process but often the most overlooked. We encourage you to celebrate not only achieving your end goal, but each and every milestone along the way! Consider how you are going to reward yourself but also who you’re going to share the milestone with. Your reward might look like some new activewear or a new pair of training shoes and your cheer squad might be a close group of friends, a coach, mentor or training buddy.
Continuing to celebrate the wins will help you stay motivated and moving forward towards your goal.
ARE YOU READY TO KICK SOME GOALS?
Remember, health and fitness is a lifelong journey, and setting goals is just the beginning. By following these 6 steps to goal setting success, you can constantly be taking the right steps towards being the healthiest, happiest version of you.