For 2019 I am not using written goals like I used to.
Yep, I said it. For 2019 I am not using written goals like I used to, and I think it is going to be my best and most productive year ever! Prior to 2018, I would write goals and fail at or abandon many of them. Sure I would achieve some, but there were many I would forget about or fail to achieve.
I was on sabbatical in the spring of 2018. I had been warned that the time on sabbatical would fly by so I started the year with a half-day retreat to plan my year and set my goals. I started each day scheduling my most important goals and making sure that I was strategic with my time. I finished sabbatical with a lot of good habits and while many followed me into the fall semester, I became less intentional with scheduling my daily goals. As a result, some of my goals lost traction or were difficult to fit into my day.
As I prepare for 2019, I realize that the key to success is not simply writing goals, but scheduling what is important. I will still have my written goals, but I will use them in a different way...they are the steps not the destination. Accomplishing my goals is part of a greater plan and a larger vision. So I will be writing them, but implementing them in a different way.
Here is the process that I am going to go through and the questions I need to answer:
The first two steps you may be familiar with to some extent, but it is the third step that solidifies the process.
Describe how I want to feel
MY GOAL: I want to be a good example for my boys.
Rather than thinking about a specific outcome, I am going to start with the feeling I want to achieve. For example, our family loves watching American Ninja Warrior and our 4 boys love to compete. Combine those two things and you end up with a salmon ladder and homemade Ninja Warrior Course in your backyard. For 2019, I want to feel like a good example for my boys from a physical fitness standpoint. I want to be able to complete the ninja course. I also want to teach them that it is ok to fail and not be good at something. I want them to see me struggle. Too often in life, I only put my best face forward. Too much pride I guess. I want them to see me struggle in the process of trying to accomplish something hard that I am not good at.
My written goal in the past would have been “Complete the backyard ninja warrior course by December and if I broke it down into a phrase it would be “ninja warrior ready.” I would’ve stopped there. I think this is where most of us stop. That is what we want to accomplish and we jump in hoping that we are successful. This year I am not going to stop there.
What will it take to feel that way
There are several things that I will need to be a fitness role model for my boys. I also need to determine how I will track my success along the way.
Progress Tracker: this one is easy, I’ll use the scale
Progress Tracker: this one is not as simple. I know that a ridiculous amount of strength, coordination, and endurance goes into completing this course. So, here my movement background benefits me. I’ll start with the competency of my push-up pattern, track the distance of my Motor Control Screen and record the time of my farmer’s carry.
Progress Tracker: I will use HR training and Garmin.
We often choose vague tracking measures for our progress. Make sure that as you determine what it will take, you also determine how you will grade yourself along the way. Having a baseline and then demonstrating improvement is an awesome way to not only hold yourself accountable, but also build momentum.
Create your lifestyle by scheduling it
I think this is the secret sauce of finally achieving your goals. Once you have determined the actions you need to take, you need to determine what behaviors you need to adopt. You need to then figure out how you can best incorporate these behaviors and habits into your life. The reason so many goals fail or become forgotten is because we don’t integrate them into our lives. If we don’t integrate a new system or a new lifestyle to uphold our goal, then it becomes that much easier to fall back into old patterns. So for me, I now need to decide what daily activities will ultimately lead me to the feeling of being a good fitness example for my boys.
Activities I need and want to incorporate:
But here is the key, I now take these specific activities and incorporate them into my lifestyle. I schedule them. This is not complex, but I need to set a specific calendar appointment for these on my weekly schedule. These appointments cannot be be missed. They only can be rescheduled if necessary, but not missed. I will create a weekly template that contains these appointments and then every Sunday night will create the specific weeks schedule. You can get the simple template I use for free here
With this process, I am confident that I will achieve both the lifestyle and goals I want.