One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was Dr. Phil’s audio book, “Lifecode”. I know – some people really don’t care for him, but I find it tough to argue his simple, down-to-earth advice. And his 7 steps to achieving a goal are definitely worth reviewing! Here they are:
1. Express your goal – use specific events or behaviors. (Ex: I want to run a 21 minute 5K in May.)
2. Express your goal in terms that can be measured. (Ex: I want to lose 3 inches in my waist by May.)
3. Assign a timeline to your goal. (You may need to set smaller goals leading up to a larger goal…timelines are crucial, though! Otherwise, it’s too easy to say, “I’d LIKE to achieve that someday…”)
4. Choose a goal you can control. (I can control my training for a 5K or eating/exercising to lose weight.)
5. Plan and program a strategy to achieve your goal. Make sure you have money, time, access, etc. Set up a realistic schedule. (Ex: I am a single mom with 2 young kids. My training goal includes running up to 5K distances. Anything over that right now is simply not realistic for me. Set yourself up for success!)
6. Define your goal in terms of steps. (Ex: If you want to achieve a PR on the Tulsa Run next October, steps for you may include races leading up to the Tulsa Run and also include your weekly training schedule so you can achieve a PR.)
7. Create accountability. This can be a personal trainer/coach or it can simply be a friend/mentor who meets you for training or calls you once a week to check in with you. Many people achieve their goals easier with some accountability.
Lastly – how will you feel when you achieve your goal? I believe in visualization. Attach as many senses to this question as you can. If your goal is a PR, envision yourself crossing the finish line, fatigued and drenched in sweat as you gave all your body had for your race. Really see and feel yourself achieving this goal and make it as real as possible!
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