Tips for Achieving Goals
We set goals all the time! These goals could be related to fitness, sports, nutrition, work, and/or school. Setting goals keeps us driven and motivated on a daily basis. Many of us are great at setting goals. At the start of the new year, we may brainstorm 5, 10, or even 15 goals to achieve throughout the new year. New year, new you! These goals are set within the first week of January…… then it takes us a few weeks to get focused and put together a plan to achieve these goals…. Well then it’s Superbowl Sunday, a birthday party or two, spring break, social outings, other distractions… you get the point. It’s easy to set goals, but harder to put in the work to achieve the goals. Unfortunately, there are tons of distractions and excuses that prevent us from staying focused on our personal objectives!
The 5 -S Formula is an effective strategy we all can implement to improve our success rate in reaching our goals. This formula helps identify what might be appropriate and successful skills, practices, and actions to assist us on our road to success! The 5 pieces of the formula break down how to implement smaller and logical steps while progressing towards the end objective. Let’s look into what this formula entails and how it can be applied to your individual goals:
The 5 S’s:
When working towards a goal, each action must be connected to the goal. Linking each tasks to the goal will improve your focus and efficiency in making the goal a reality. For example, lets say running a 5k in 4 months is your goal. Will running 1x/month and playing tennis 3x/week get you to your goal? Or will creating a weekly running plan for 4 months progress you to your goal? Next, removing limiting factors standing in the way of your goals and filling in any gaps preventing you from making the goal a reality are also important actions in the strategic planning phase. In addition, write down your strengths and build off them! What are you good at? What actions works best with your lifestyle? Building off your strengths to create goal-oriented actions that will assist you in reaching the goals faster! Implementing specific activities tied to your goal will help you efficiently and affectively succeed.
Break down the steps you need to complete to get you your goal. The practices and actions you put into place must be a smaller piece of a larger whole. For example, a clean, which is a common Olympic lift and movement performed in crossfit classes, involves a complex sequence of movements necessary for lifting the weighted bar from the floor to chest level. To properly learn the movement, one must break down the entire movement into smaller parts. Practicing and mastering the smaller parts is crucial for executing the exercise safely and correctly when performed as a whole. When working towards your goal, make sure you break down the plan into smaller, achievable segments. This will help make the goal seem attainable and less overwhelming!
This step may seem simple, yet we are all guilty of completing step 1 of a task then jumping to step 10. Once at step 10, we realize we are lost or something is too challenging and then backtracking to prior steps. Performing your actions in a logical order that matches your own pace and skill level is key for success. Don’t jump ahead to try and complete the task faster! Skipping over crucial steps usually leads to increased stress and frustration. Lay out a step by step plan that progresses in a reasonable, attainable order. Steps 2-9 are there for a reason!
When an action or tasks is too complex, many of us shut down. We either avoid what needs to be done, make excuses not to continue, and/or scrap the task completely. The practices or actions you set in place to get you to your goal must be easy to understand and fit your lifestyle. For example, let’s say your goal is to eat out for dinner less and cook dinner 6 days per week. You could look up 6 new recipes, with 20 or more ingredients and over 2 hours of prep time. However, what are the chances 2 hours of prep and cooking will take place after a long day of work? Instead, plan your meals ahead of time with food you know and love! Make pre portioned meals on Sunday or prep all the ingredients Sunday so you can quickly and easily whip together dinners each night. KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Sometimes we need to ask for help, ask for support, in order to keep us focused and working towards our goals. This is NOT a sign of weakness. Sometimes we hesitate asking our loved ones for help and try to achieve everything on our own! However, we need to understand its ok to ask for extra support. That’s what friends and loved ones are for! There will be days where you feel off track, your goal seems impossible, your tired and want to give up. It is those situations when we need to reach out to our support systems to lift us up and keep us going. Each step toward your goal will require some type of teaching, coaching, mentorship, and accountability from an outside source.
Take a second to evaluate your goals. Are you making progress to achieve that goal? Have you lost sight of the goal? Is it taking you too long to achieve the final step? Maybe you are skipping crucial steps along the way. Maybe the actions you are trying to complete are too complicated. Use the 5-S Formula above to evaluate your goals and game plan for reaching each goal. Make the changes you need get back on track and let’s make each goal happen!