photo courtesy of abbamouse
So, in my day job, I produce videos and provide audio/visual support for Arkansas Children’s Hospital. As I make the rounds from one meeting to another, I come across more free food than you can shake a stick at, which is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. For example, this morning I was accosted by a tray full of ooey gooey cinnamon rolls. They were tempting to say the least. Heck, it was because of this very thing that I gained probably 15 pounds when I first started my job at the hospital.
Since then, of course, I have tamed those wildly hungry hippos, and this morning I was able to avoid temptation as well. I did this largely because I have goals set in front of me, and I have a specific plan in place to reach those goals. This is paramount going into a situation like the one I faced this morning. Had I not had those goals in mind and the specific strategies in place to reach those goals, it would have been much easier to cave into temptation.
Most of my goals at the moment revolve around getting my book as perfect as I can get it before its release next month. My physical strategy going into taking pictures next weekend has been a combination of Intermittent Fasting and strength training. I first came across this strategy in Brad Pilon’s fantastic eBook, Eat Stop Eat. If you’re interested in building muscle and burning fat, follow the link below and pick up a copy for yourself. Plus, if you get one in the next 48 hours, he’s got a FREE GIFT for you: his newest book on the truth about protein.
All that said, the idea of having goals and strategies in place certainly doesn’t apply just to physical fitness. I have gone to great lengths to include emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual strategies in my new book as well. For a few tips on setting goals across the board, click below to read the rest of this article.
So, the best way to think about setting goals in my book is to consider the conditions of the flow experience. If going for your goals feels like a game you can really get into, you’re more likely to keep them in mind as you go about your day. Here are a few tips I consider when setting my own goals.
- Be Specific - One of the conditions of flow is that whatever your going for must provide you with ongoing feedback. This means your goal must be specific enough to allow you to gauge your progress on a regular basis. Therefore, I set goals on an almost daily basis. Instead of saying, “I’m going to eat better this week,” I’ll say something like, “Tomorrow I’m going to IF it in the morning, then eat healthy the rest of day, being sure to finish dinner 3 hours before bed.” That way I know at the end of the day if I hit my goal or not. Another example might be, instead of saying, “I’m going to be a better father to my son,” say, “I’m going to make time to play catch with my son 3 out of 5 nights this week.” The more specific the better.
- Write Them Down – Writing down your goals is a simple way to hold yourself accountable. In my forthcoming book, I suggest something called Programmer’s Progress Notes. This is basically an ongoing journal of sorts to help you reprogram the parts of your life you want to change. By keeping a daily log of your 3-5 most important goals, you hold yourself accountable for making those changes. When one of those goals becomes habitual behavior (which is what ultimately happens as you reprogram your operating system for a healthier lifestyle), then it’s time to add another goal to the list.
- Don’t Shoot Too High – I’m all about going for broke, and I even think there is something to the whole idea of failing forward. However, another condition of flow is that the activity challenge but not exceed our current capabilities. By insuring that your goals stretch the outer limits of what is currently available to you without going way outside your comfort zone, you make frustration and burnout less likely.
- Find A Community - Join a club, internet forum, or at the very least share your goals with someone you care about. They can help you stay accountable, and if they’re striving for similar goals, you can both help each other stay motivated.
- Keep A Modest Number – Don’t try to do too many things at once. In my book, I suggest having no more than 5 specific goals going at a given time. This will hopefully keep you from being stretched too thin, which is not good for anyone.
I hope you guys got something out of this. There will be a lot more specifics in my upcoming book, The Brickhouse Bodymind Blueprint, so sign up for my Integral Fitness Newsletter to insure you’re among the first to get a copy!
Talk to ya’ll soon!