Goals - How do I actually reach them?
What is one health or fitness goal that you have for the week?
Do you set goals for yourself on a consistent basis?
Do you consistently take small steps forward to reach your goals?
Every Monday, I ask my private online group to post one goal for the week and the response is always astounding!! Many of the group members post goals and give kudos to other members for their goals. As the weeks progress, I have been checking in on the group and asking them to post photos or comment on their progress because ACCOUNTABILITY WORKS!!
Making a goal takes effort and following through with a goal takes small, consistent steps. ACCOUNTABILITY has proven to be key in continuing to move forward towards your goal.
I want to let you in on a little secret that may help you reach your goals! I am going to show you the practice that I will be using as a certified Precision Nutrition (PN) Level 1 coach to help clients not just reach, but surpass their goals in my brand new lifestyle transformation program, Life Fit for Life, that kicks off August 7th!
Huge kudos to John Berardi Ph.D., one of the founders of PN, who did the research and put this practice-based formula together that you will read about below.
A practice-based formula for helping clients change their lives!
Ever wondered what it really takes to accomplish something big?
Like the overweight person who loses hundreds of pounds of body fat
or the scrawny person who gains strength, along with dozens of pounds of muscle
or the lifetime dieter who finally achieves a healthy relationship with food
With almost 100,000 clients and students, the coaches that practice the methods that I do have learned that seemingly impossible goals can be achieved remarkably quickly and easily…if you follow the right process.
Breaking goals into skills
skills into practices
There’s a lot of emphasis on goal setting, especially when it comes to health and fitness. We are taught to think about what we want to accomplish via a goal. Then after we have thought about our goal, we are supposed to ensure that it is specific, measurable, attainable, and on and on and on.
But what happens once we have done all that work setting a perfect goal, the ultimate goal for ourselves? Well for most people, they really don't do all that much with it!
That’s because goals aren’t achieved through the mere act of setting them. And goals aren’t achieved through sheer force of will either.
Through research and actual client coaching, we have found that goal achievement only happens when you do two things:
First, you break down the thing that you want to do (your goal) into specific skills.
Second, you build these skills through strategic daily practices or actions.
The secret formula follows this pattern below:
Practice daily to build skills.
Build skills to achieve goals.
Do this well and you can accomplish your goals more quickly (with less effort) andmaintain your results.
How do I do this in my coaching?
I help people lose weight, build strength, and develop healthier relationships with food.
GOAL - Let’s say it’s your goal to lose weight.
You know that to lose weight you’ll need to eat better consistently. So your real goal is to eat better consistently. But you don’t have all the skills to do that just yet. So you have to break it down even further.
SKILLS - Which skills are required to eat better consistently?
As a certified PN coach, I have learned that hunger and appetite awareness is the most important initial skill for making progress towards eating better consistently. But that’s not an easy skill to put into action right away. So you have to break that down even further.
PRACTICES - In my coaching, I use eating slowly and eating until satisfied, not stuffed to build the hunger and appetite awareness skill.
Clients eat slowly for two weeks. Then they practice eating until satisfied for two weeks. Over the course of a month, the daily practices of eating slowly and eating until satisfied, not stuffed will build the skill of better hunger and appetite awareness. And that is one of the necessary skills for eating better consistently. As your coach, I guide you through daily lessons or practices that build upon each skill that we are working to master.
This is just one example of how my coaching helps you build the skills that you need to achieve goals. Over the course of my 12-month program, I help you build dozens of other skills through very specific and well-defined daily practices.
What is a daily practice like?
When we break skills down into practices, each practice must be:
The best practices are small daily actions that can be done in the context of real life. Think of these daily actions on a scale of 0-10. If you are confident that you could do the action every day for the next 2 weeks, then the answer should be a 9 or 10. Anything lower than that on the scale and the practice may be too challenging or intimidating.
Most goals are too big, or complicated, to try for in one shot. Most skills are the same way. So you break them down into defined and organized segments.
Breaking things down into segments is great, but you also have to practice those segments in the right order. This explains why many "fad diets" only work in the short-term, because they immediately ask you to make huge changes without first teaching you the skills to do these things consistently and in a world where there will be setbacks. They then ask you to maintain the changes without any built-in skills. Do the right things in the right order and success is a reliable outcome.
Does this process of building skills sound too slow to you? The fact is that if your practices are strategic, the whole process goes quicker. That’s because strategic practice addresses the object that has been getting in your way all this time. Focus on that one thing—and only that thing—and a difficult process becomes easier and faster.
Practices work best when they’re supported by some form of teaching, coaching, mentorship and accountability. I am sure that you are aware of this and have likely experienced it yourself. When you make your goal known to others, do you feel more motivated to make steps towards it than if you kept the goal to yourself? Support and accountability is very powerful when it comes to reaching goals and making change.
Want to try this system out yourself?
Here’s what you do:
- Pick a goal you’d like to achieve. Any goal - from lose 10 pounds, to increase pushups by 20 reps, to learn to play the piano. Write the goal down at the top of a sheet of paper.
- Brainstorm the key skills needed for that goal. Write those skills below your goal.
- Brainstorm which daily practices would help develop the key skills needed to achieve the goal. Think about small things you can do every day to build your skill set. Write those practices below the skills.
Tip: You can always consult an expert later to help you dial down the segments, sequence, and strategy. For now, take action and see what comes of it!
When you need support
If you are ridiculously motivated, you might be able to figure this stuff out on your own and be able to move forward toward your goals without support.
In our experience, though, most people need some amount of coaching and support.
And that is absolutely okay. Needing coaching and support is not a sign of weakness or incompetence. In fact, it is the way most humans do most things.
It’s how we learn to read, write, walk, and talk. It’s how we learn to do a job and improve professionally. It’s how we become better parents and partners. It’s how we grow as human beings: with coaching, support, and accountability.
The individual who accomplishes big things all by themselves is a myth.
What can bring about success then?
Encouragement can really help bridge the gap between committing to something and possessing the skills to accomplish it. This is the moment when you are committed, but not quite capable. At times like this it’s nice to borrow courage from a coach or mentor who’s been through the process themselves or helped others go through the process.
We all know accountability—regularly checking in with someone—is important. The social commitment helps us stick with what we started. This is exactly why goal setting in my private group was so exciting for some of my members. The thought of checking in with me and their friends helped them stick to what they set out to do.
Did you know accountability works best if it happens at regular, expected times? Whether through an app, in a group, or one-on-one, accountability should have a known cadence.
For example, my coaching check-ins happen twice a month through group calls and daily through email and online group interactions.
Interesting fact: In a survey the PN put out to over 10,000 people, over 80% of respondents ranked accountability as a “very important” part of getting in shape. However, nearly 80% of those folks said they didn’t have a way of keeping themselves accountable. That’s why we recommend coaching.
A respected coach
Most people don’t want “an expert”. They want a guide, a coach, someone they trust and respect. And most people don’t want someone in their face “coaching” them 24/7. They just want the confidence of knowing someone is there if they need it.
That’s why I give clients the option of either daily check-ins or bi-weekly check-ins.
Clients also get to work with not only just me, but they also receive lessons from the founders of PN to help them recognize critical progress factors, problem-solve, and obstacle-proof their success.
Positive progress focus
Most of the fitness industry hasn’t gotten the memo: Comparing yourself to some superhero ideal doesn’t work. It makes you feel inadequate. Like you’ll never get there. Which is why it is important to seek out—and shine a light on—any and all positive progress!
Even if clients aren’t seeing physical results yet, if they are following along with their daily practices, good things are happening. By identifying and celebrating every bit of progress, the physical progress will follow.
Proactive obstacle identification
Of course, it’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows. Sometimes real challenges come up. That’s a fact of life. Strategies are required to move past these inevitable obstacles.
What’s better than solving a problem? Avoiding that problem in the first place, right?. That’s what great coaching can do!
Experienced coaches can give clients a heads up—in advance—about what they’re likely to come up against. That way clients know what problems to look out for, and they’re less likely to get derailed.
Help when you’re stuck.
Even with the best daily practices, ongoing progress tracking, accountability, and proactive obstacle identification, sometimes clients get stuck. That’s when an expert guide can help. Someone who’s “been there, done that” and knows how to navigate.
Summary of steps to change
I hope you have gained some insight into how I coach, and more importantly, have learned some new ideas that will help you with your individual goals.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Think about any goal you want to achieve.
- Make up a GOAL WORKSHEET and write your goal at the top of the page.
- Now brainstorm what skills may be needed to achieve your goal. Write your ideas below the goal.
- Think up some practices that may help you build those skills and write them below the skills.
- Once your worksheet is complete, review the plan and ask yourself some questions. Do you have the expertise to know whether it’s right for you? If so, consider the right time to get started. If not, is there someone who can help review the plan and help you revise it?
- When you’re confident with the plan, consider what you’ll do for support and accountability. Who will you check in with? How frequently? What can they help with?
- Get started. Begin with your first 2-week practice and continue your curriculum of practices from top to bottom of your worksheet.
- Every month or so, fill out the worksheet to celebrate how far you’ve come and plan your upcoming success. Either keep your answers to yourself or share them with someone.
- If you get stuck at any time, find help. Don’t try to go it alone. There’s someone out there that can help you overcome obstacles or re-route your plan.
And remember: This process works for any goal!
I’ve personally used it to eat better, gain lean mass (muscle tone), become a better coach, partner and parent at home.
If you give it a try, I’m confident it will work for you!
And if you need support and encouragement in meeting your goals, I am ready, willing and able to help you!
I am only taking on a max of 10 clients in my first Fit for Life group that starts August 7th!
This program will not be opened up again to new clients until Dec/Jan timeframe. Send me an email or call me at (925)264-9113 for a 20-minute consultation to discuss your goals and whether coaching is right for you!