I get a lot of emails about goals — and I mean — a lot. But if I had the ultimate answer for accomplishing your goals flawlessly, I’d live in a huge mansion.
One of the biggest reasons that I see people fail in their goals is that whatever they want to do, whatever they want to accomplish is just obtuse.
I mean the classic thing people want is to lose weight. I do. Maybe you do too.
But when someone only has that goal, nothing is going to happen after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
The reason is you’ve left things unclear. I mean, clearly you want the number to be lower, but what else? Is that it?
Now you might think that I’m going to talk about SMART goals to accomplish all of your dreams and hopes.
I’m not. No, no, no, no.
Goals are alright; they are a length of tape to run through so you know where the finish line is, but I’m afraid goals aren’t going to help you.
Let me say that again — goals aren’t going to help you.
If you were going on a road trip, and you wanted to get to San Diego, you wouldn’t stare at the city on the map as you drove. Sure, the goal is San Diego, but no matter what you aim towards, if that becomes your only way you are going to get there, you’re going to be staring at that map in the driveway, far, far away from your destination.
You need a system to get there.
My future friend James Clear says, that “You don’t rise to your goals, you fail to your systems.”
You don’t rise to your goals. You don’t look at the weight loss goal you have and say, “Now that I have announced this goal to the world, it shall come to pass.”
Nope. A ton of people, literally, want to lose weight. But they don’t all do it. They could have all the good intentions to eat more celery and less cake, but when the next New Year’s Eve party starts, they probably are going to wear the same outfit, and it’s perhaps a little tighter.
It’s systems that get goals accomplished. Systems. Let me explain.
A system is a repetitive set of small actions that produce the same results.
A recipe is a system — add this — add this — bake at this temperature. Done.
When you start your car — it’s a system. You don’t usually wind up in the back seat of your car when you want to get someplace. (And if you do, you shouldn’t be driving. That’s another blog for another time.)
Creating small repeatable actions that take the decision-making process out of the equation is the secret sauce to getting a goal accomplished.
Let me break some examples down for you.
Let’s go back to losing weight. You can say, “eat right” or “exercise more” when it comes to losing weight, but that isn’t clear enough.
It sounds nice, and it’s on the right path, but what would all the decisions look like if they were already decided?
Morning Routine for Weight Loss
- Weigh myself every day.
- Record weight in MyFitnessPal App.
- Grab gym bag.
- Eat a breakfast that is mostly fat and protein. OR. Put kale/spinach shake in blender. Drink it. (Exception: fasting that morning. Easy enough.)
Afternoon Routine for Weight Loss
- Eat a salad for lunch.
- Drink four cups of water by lunchtime.
- Hit the gym using my workout plan.
Evening Routine for Weight Loss
- Drink plenty of water.
- Make sure morning shake is ready to go.
- Make sure gym bag is packed and done.
- Healthy snacks at work. Keep in desk.
- Take stairs. All the time.
- Have two meetings a week where we walk instead of sit.
When Struggling With Routine.
- Call your accountability buddy and discuss why you want to lose the weight.
- Review the why of losing weight.
- Do not expect to see a single result until 6 months after you start this process. Not a single result. (I have it set in my calendar to check results after 6 months.)
- Eat before every social event to avoid grazing.
- Don’t keep food in the house you shouldn’t eat.
I know this seems like a lot, and I didn’t incorporate it overnight. I gradually just added things like “take the stairs” and “drinking plenty of water.”
Whatever you want to do — you need a system.
If I keep doing these things, having a fall back plan, have it all set up for success, I can’t lose. I just can’t. All of these things lead to success. If I start eating like crap, then my coach is on me. If I start missing my workouts, my accountability partner is going to get on my case.
Sure, I could dismantle it all, but I know that whatever portion I start to dismantle will lead to more weight gain. I’m determined to get rid of this weight so no matter what my goal — whether if it is 10, 30 or 100 lbs — this system should work. And let’s say it has its flaws, and I’m sure it does, I can plug those as I go along.
That’s the great thing about systems: you can fix them. You can improve them and make them better and better.