We are almost a month into the new year. How are you doing with your health and fitness goals?
Goal setting can be a challenge for many of us. John Berardi, PhD., author of the Metabolism Advantage, offers some discouraging statistics on goal setting. If your goal is to make one change in your life, you have an 85% chance of success. If your goal incorporates two changes at once, your chance of success plummets to 35%. If your goal requires three changes at once, your chance of success becomes almost zero. Ouch.
But, wait! My point is not to convince you that setting multiple goals is a waste of energy. It’s not! You just need the right strategy.
Alwyn Cosgrove, a man I admire a great deal, offers up a goal setting strategy specifically designed to help you successfully tackle multiple goals. And, when your goal setting has to do with your health, there are almost always multiple things we want to change, right? This time of year we are focused on improving our diets, increasing the amount of exercise we’re getting and banishing nasty habits.
If this sounds like you, try The Goal Snowball. Here’s how it works:
- Step 1 - Write down a total of (5) goals. Behaviors that you would like to improve/change and good habits that you’d like to add to your lifestyle.
- Step 2 – List the 5 goals from easiest to hardest.
- Step 3 – Though you will be mindful of all your goals, give your full attention to the first item on your list – the easiest one. Spend 2 weeks focusing on that first goal until it becomes a habit in your daily routine.
- Step 4 – Once that habit is “ingrained in your brain,” move on to the second goal on your list. Give it your full attention for 2 weeks until it is a habit in your daily routine, then move on to the third goal.
- Step 5 – Continue like this until you have checked off each goal on your list of 5.
What happens is, by systematically tackling those goals one at a time, your success will snowball, making more of an impact with better long-term success than if you tried to do them all at once.
Before you know it, that little snowball of new habits will build up into a BIG SNOWBALL, chock-full of healthy lifestyle changes that yield huge improvements in your long-term health and fitness.
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer