What is up?! Happy 2020!!
It has been a WHILE since I’ve released a blog. Between holidays and just life in general, I have just been slammed and trying to stay afloat.
More than that, the past month, basically since coming back from my trip in Arizona, has been full of goal planning and intention setting.
This is because 2020 is a BIG year for Clar-e-ty Nutrition. I have A LOT in the works so that I can add more VALUE to what I do as a coach.
Because my goals and aspirations are a huge part of what is going to make 2020 great, I have had to really hone in on getting OCD with those goals and HOW to go about achieving them and putting them into reality.
Which is what inspired today’s blog article.
One of the BIGGEST mistakes people make with setting New Year goals is that they...
Go about reaching goals in the wrong way
Don’t make actionable, physical goals
Most goals are either too small or too large or just with the wrong timeline. Say you want to lose weight. That’s a goal, right? Yes. MOST people, however, want to lose 30 lbs. in a month or something far too impossible to ever achieve.
Another issue with most goals is the HOW. There are two common issues with the how.
The first issue is that how you plan on achieving your goals isn’t in line with YOUR lifestyle. If you like (or even need) carbs, but plan to reach your weight loss goals by doing Keto or Whole30, then you’re simply set up for failure. You may reach your weight loss goal, but because you did so in an unsustainable way usually means you’ll eventually rebound and gain that weight back in a few months (once you’ve officially given up on your restrictive fad diet).
The second issue on the “how” of reaching your goals is there is no tangible action associated with your goal. “Lose weight” is a goal, but how much weight? When? How are you going about it? You need to get specific. You need to physically write your goals down. You need to create trackers and metrics to measure your progress. The more specific and obvious you make your goal, the harder it is going to be to NOT reach them.
Todays’ blog is going to teach you how to set real goals with real action steps to go about achieving them. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
5 Essential Steps in Setting New Year Goals
Step 1: Set 90-day goals and outcomes
One year is too long. One month is too short. YES, it’s okay to set a general theme to focus on for the year. Mine is CONSISTENCY...but I have also broken it down. In fact, being consistent over the course of 2020 is how I’m going to reach my goals because they’re ambitious goals that could burn me out if I don’t stay slow and consistent. If you only have a general goal and theme for the year, use that to reverse engineer more specific goals.
I set 90-Day Goals for these 4 categories:
Write down (for each category):
What is your goal?
Why is that your goal?
How are you going to do it?
Do you have to do all of them? No, but having a holistic set of goals that cover the 4 pillars of your life (your body, your mind, your relationships, and your work) makes your quality of life that much greater. If you prioritize all 4, you’re guaranteed to live a more fulfilled and complete life. It also makes achieving any goal that much easier when all parts are working in unison. Have you ever tried to lose weight or go to the gym when you hate your job?? Yeah, that much more difficult.
Most importantly WRITE THEM DOWN. You are much more likely to reach your goals if you physically write them down.
Step 2: Write down your current habits
This is what we like to call a habits scorecard. Write down a list of all the things you do in a day.
Wake up - wash face - feed cat - make coffee - eat breakfast - journal/meditate - get ready and drive to work - work - eat lunch - work more - go to gym - go home - eat dinner and watch tv - shower - brush teeth - go to bed
Anything that you do habitually, meaning every day, goes down on the list. If you always have a beer or glass of wine, write it down. If you always go to bed at 11pm, write it down. Be honest!!
Step 3: Create new habits
Now look back at your goals from step 1. What are the habits you need to create, add, or change to reach your goals? If your goal is to lose 20 lbs by April 1 and you currently skip breakfast (because you went to bed too late and snoozed 5 times and are now late) or you skip the gym frequently or aren’t active other than the gym, these habits need to change.
What steps 2 and 3 aim to do is “audit” your current lifestyle to see what habits are or are not serving you and maybe what needs to change.
Why does this matter?
There was a study of soldiers in the Vietnam War. The study found an overwhelming percent of soldiers becoming heroin addicts. This posed a problem. The interesting part of this study is that they found that most (like 99%) soldiers immediately lost their addiction when coming back home, literally overnight. How many addicts do you know who can just quit their addiction cold turkey overnight? NOT MANY.
That is because your ENVIRONMENT and your HABITS create your REALITY. The soldiers were no longer in the environment that encouraged heroin use. They weren’t around soldiers using. It wasn’t readily available. They weren’t surrounded by the same stress and triggering cues.
There is a reason rehab usually works until patients LEAVE and return to their old habits and environment.
The lesson here is that you need to create NEW habits that will get you results. There is a reason CrossFit seems like a cult. You’re finally around people that understand and support meal prepping, choosing the gym over partying, eating enough food, growing muscle, drinking La Croix over beer, etc. In fact, most of the people do all of these things which causes you to follow suit. If you’re constantly in an environment that encourages post-work brews, going out for lunch, grabbing that donut sitting in your office, etc. then your habits don’t change and neither do your actions.
Create new habits. Change your environment to one that forces you to change your actions and routines. Remove triggers and cues that support and encourage habits you’re trying to break. Don’t leave a bunch of cookies and ice cream in your house if you’re trying to lose weight. Put a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen table (because that’s what “healthy” people do).
Step 4: Do the work
The first step on doing the work and making the changes realized from steps 2 and 3 is changing your identity and asking yourself the question, “who do I need to become to get what I want?”
If you’re able to adopt the mindset and mentality of the person you need to be to reach your goals, you are going to then adopt the habits and practices of that person.
If you want to wake up earlier, start identifying yourself as a morning person and you will start doing and behaving the way morning people do.
If you want to live a healthier lifestyle or lose weight, start identifying yourself as a healthy person. You will see that taking on that identity causes you to park further away to add steps, getting to bed earlier, going to the gym, meal prepping, eating more veggies, drinking more water, etc.
If you want to build muscle, start identifying as an athlete. This one is HUGE for me. I identify as a CrossFitter or weightlifter. I lift weights and I’m good at it. I don’t like cardio and therefore am not good at it. However, I’m completing a half-Ironman June 7, so I’ve started identifying myself as a runner, swimmer, biker, and triathlete. When I did this, I started slowly taking on that new identity and became better and more skilled at cardio.
Another key step in doing the work is making it obvious and attractive and tracking your progress.
Let’s go back to the example of losing weight. Doing something as simple as hiding the sweets and making a bowl of fruit front and center makes eating healthy obvious. It’s right in front of you. You look at it every single day. Put those habits you created from step 3 front and center.
I also encourage you to make some form of tracker. Create 30 squares either on a white board or piece of paper. These represent 30 days. When you do that habit (I’d pick 1-2 to focus on) you get to check that square off. It’s satisfying and rewarding to do the habit that lets you check the day off, which is why I recommend it. It’s enjoyable and will positively feed back into doing it the next day and the day after. Look back at your “how” from Steps 1. Set 1-2 means to track and measure each of those habits to reaching those results.
For more help or insight into motivation, read Atomic Habits and Daring Greatly. These are two lifechanging books that changed how I approached motivation, mindset, and confidence and are two books I often have clients read when they’re struggling with any of those areas.
Step 5: Set rewards
It’s crucial to CELEBRATE. You need something physically motivating you. In June of 2019, I set a goal to double my client number. I also needed to cut a bit of weight in preparation for my Ironman training. These were two daunting tasks, so I set a BIG reward: getting a tattoo, specifically the tattoo I’ve been dreaming of since I was 18. IF I reached those goals, then I started my tattoo. If I didn’t, then I’d have to wait...but I really really wanted that tattoo so I busted my ass. I did all the work I needed to do. And bam. I reached my goals (and more), so I got the tattoo 😉
Your reward doesn’t have to be something massively expensive. It could be buying a nice outfit from your favorite store, going out for a nice dinner, taking a weekend trip, scheduling a nice date night, anything that will serve as an external motivator.
Following these 5 steps will unlock your potential in reaching your goals. I promise you. It does take work...but setting goals that you can actually take ACTION on is the key. Figuring out what you need to change to reach your goals is a huge part of it, but most importantly you also need to make the process fun. I used to HATE setting goals...because I never reached them. Once I changed over to this method, there’s not a goal I ever fail on.
Resources and Coaching:
Online Coaching here.
[Free] Nutrition Guide here.
Recipe & Macro Guide here.