Goals are wonderful, they allow us to strive and focus towards a better destination. To achieve Xkg weight loss or to lift Xkg in the gym or to do a photo shoot in X weeks/months. They give a sense of motivation. All too commonly though we end feeling like a goal is too big or too far, and 95% of the time, we give up before we reach that destination.

Have you ever had a goal so big it made you freak out? Ever felt so overwhelmed, it seems so daunting especially if you imagine the monumental work you would have to put in to achieve it?

So how do you set a goal the right way?

Create Systems Not Goals.

What I mean is let’s say you have a goal to lose 10kg in a month. At the start, when you’re high with motivation, it’s easy to decide to go for a run for 5km every single morning for 4 days straight. Or to cut out all starches, bread, baked goods and every fried food in sight.

It goes well for 5 days, a week maybe, then the following week Monday the idea of restriction feels so overwhelming. “Ah forget this, it’s too much” you think to yourself before diving into the donuts at the office lunch room.

The concern here is that the goal looks like this:

  • Lose 10kg

A system looks like:

  • Eat 3 servings of vegetables a day
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day
  • Protein containing breakfasts
  • Make it to the gym 4 times this week
  • Walk 10000 steps a day

When creating a system like this, is that you can take your eye off the “lose 10kg” goal which can stress you if you eg don’t lose weight that week. These smaller goals are actionable activities and provide checks in your day and they are strategies which themselves have less pressure than the outcome.

The fact is you can’t control how much weight you lose or gain, but you CAN control what you eat, your portion sizes, your exercise regime, your sleep, and to make the better choice the majority of the time. If you have no plan for going into each day or even the week, it’s harder to make consistent measurable steps towards your goal.

The benefit of a system or smaller plans is that the big goal will find itself seemingly achieved “accidentally”. The truth is, there is no accidental success. Success leaves trails, and there are strong indicators well before the success is achieved.

If you manage to hit the gym 4 times a week consistently, drink enough water, and focus on 75% of your meals being whole food with adequate protein and nutrients, reaching your goal of losing Xkg or whichever your goal is has no choice but to happen.

Plus, when you focus on these systems and strategies, you commit to them for long enough, you will turn them into habits. And when you are able to sustain these practices as habits, on the outside, you’ll seem like a person who can easily achieve a goal, one of those “transformation photos”. Without surgery, photoshop, crazy shakes and diet strategies.

Control Your Activities And You Control Your Results.

Some days and weeks will be better than others. Sometimes you will make a lot of progress, and sometimes you won’t make any. Sometimes you will have dry periods and weight slumps. Other times you will lose two or three times as much as you projected. But the law of averages is at work. It is inexorable. If you just keep on making the necessary choices, you will eventually reach your target, on schedule.

Those who can achieve and sustain their goals can let you know how many times a week they will go to the gym, how many times they plan to eat out, their favourite homemade meals, and what makes things easier or harder (eg work or life stress) and what they do to not allow those external stresses to affect their goal.

So go out there and set a huge target or goal. Now spend time working out what you need to do to get there and forget about the goal. Im serious. It will happen.

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