As an Olympian, I was used to setting goals on a daily basis. I was also used to not reaching those goals on a daily basis and sometimes I would even overachieve in the goals that I set. I learned many things about goal setting in my career as a professional athlete, but none were more important than these five things that I am going to share with you.
2020 was an unpredictable year that brought about unprecedented and unforeseen challenges for most of us. The fact that you are here reading this now means that you survived the storm. Avoiding the next 5 pitfalls however, will mean that you'll be equipped to stay on track of your goals the next time it rains.
1. We focus on "the goal" instead of the system
(Unpopular opinion) I hate to break it to you, but goals don't create results... systems do. Having a goal is great, but it's not enough.
The question you should be asking yourself once you've decided upon what your goal is, is what do I need to do in order to achieve it?
So often I see people fail to reach their intended destination not because of a lack of ambition, but a lack of understanding as to what it really takes to reach the goal that has been set.
More often than not, results arrive as a reward for the work that has preceded it. So don't forget to ask yourself how are you going to do this work? Are you going to work with commitment, with passion, with determination? Are you going to achieve it alone, or as a team? What system are you going to put in place to ensure that you achieve your goal? Then focus on that. Do one thing to positively impact your goal daily!
2. We are not specific enough
Like I mentioned before, ambition is great but specificity is better. Saying I want to lose weight in 2021 is an aspiration, but it doesn't become a goal until you put some real respect on it.
Give it a name, give it a value. If like me, you gained fat during 2020, find out how much fat! What percentage fat did you gain? What percentage muscle mass do you need to gain in order to feel yourself again.
The answer for me is 3% fat. I know this because I have a record of what I was at when I felt strongest. It's time to pull up those receipts girl!
3. We forget to give ourselves a due date
Do you have one of those annoying flakey friends who never sets a time or place for a catch up? If you don't then that person is you.
It's no surprise that when we fail to schedule important events they fail to happen. Goals are no different, they don't discriminate, they don't care about your schedule or how much time you do or don't have.
They won't work unless you do, and with that in mind they require urgency. A scheduled arrival date for your goals makes them real. The process of achieving your goals should be locked into your weekly schedule as if it were a dental appointment.
Lock it in, before your goals lock you out!
4. We base our goals on conformity rather than individuality
I had a friend back home in London who came to a lunch meeting in furry Gucci loafers. Whilst I appreciate the craftsmanship, what is fashionable may not always be for you.
The loafers were terrible, and even to this day I think about them and ask what on earth possessed my friend to invest in this atrocity? Was it peer pressure? Were they a fashion statement? If so, what statement was being made?
My point is, when setting your goals take the time to pause and conduct a gut check. Is this goal for you or is it for somebody else, like those furry Gucci loafers!
5. We see outcomes as 'all or nothing"
I always set myself lofty goals. In 2020, I set myself a target of getting 10'000 women to SLAY online with our Slay Challenge. I failed.
But that mistake had a hugely positive impact, in being so bold it gave me the motivation to complete our first 12 stages of online training, it enabled us to save the gym in the middle of a global pandemic, we changed the lives of 1000 women worldwide and I met the most amazing women, with amazing stories along the way.
I could have walked away or been disheartened when I knew that 10'000 women were not going to SLAY in 2020, and I'm thankful I didn't because I know so much more than I did when I started and sometimes the result is in the process!
If you have any more goal setting tips I'd love to hear them @louisehazel on Instagram