3 steps to goal setting: How to get your best results
We all love the idea of goals, right? We love to plan, dream and write out a list of goals we’d like to achieve. But today I want to talk about the place in-between your goals and your reality.
For me, I’ve noticed I can spend a little too much time in the dreaming phase of goal setting that I never get to live in the reality of those dreams. I like the idea of setting goals, but when it comes time to implement them, I freeze and hold myself back which in the end only leads to frustration.
I started to ask myself “What is keeping me from doing the work it takes to achieve my goals?
And the answer I found was that I wasn’t willing to take the small steps. I wanted everything to fall into place and I wanted it to happen now. Isn’t it funny that we’d rather do nothing at all than to take one step?
That’s the missing piece. The place in-between your goals and your reality is only one small step after another.
I wrote down 3 steps that I’ve found to be so helpful in achieving the goals I’ve set in my life.
1. Narrow down your goals
When I first started working at Proverbs 31, my supervisor and I would meet every week to talk about personal and work goals. One of my goals was to get in shape. Each week she would encourage me to narrow down that goal into practical steps I could take. And let me tell you, those steps were nothing significant. I didn’t set crazy goals to work out 7 days a week and get on some crazy diet fad. I would write out one small goal at a time, and then once I was consistent with the one, I would add another.
Your goals need to be narrowed down based off of what is actually achievable in your current season. When you narrow down your goals, it gives you clarity to achieve what you are setting out to do.
Here’s an example:
- Work out 3 times a week
- Cut out the junk and replace it with nutritional foods
- Meal prep
So instead of just writing out “I want to lose weight” which is way too broad, you can start with three small steps you can take which in the long run will lead you to achieve your goal.
This system of narrowing down your goals can be applied to any goal in your life. Small steps always lead to great results.
2. Set next action steps
Once you’ve narrowed down your goals, the next step is to set next action steps. This principle has been the biggest game changer for me. It’s not enough just to narrow down our goals if you don’t have the systems to follow-up.
You can do this by writing down below each goal what you’re next step is, along with a deadline. This will take discipline, but you already have what it takes to do each of these steps. Remember, it’s just one small step at a time.
Here’s an example:
- Work out 3 times a week
- Find a gym/work out program
- Schedule the days in your calendar to work out
- Review your calendar at the beginning of every week and prepare for your workouts
2. Cut out the junk
- Make a grocery list with wholesome and nutritional foods
- Schedule one day a week on your calendar to do your grocery shopping for the week
- Replace your favorite sweets with healthy alternatives
3. Meal prep
- Find 2-3 meals you enjoy that have a balance of healthy fats, carbs, and protein
- Schedule 1-2 hours to cook all of your meals at once
I know this is really practical and simple, but I want to encourage you not to overlook the smalls steps. It’s all about consistency, which is the last thing I’d like to talk about.
3. Stay consistent
Often time’s we start off strong, but then we give up too soon. Research says it takes 66 days to form a habit. Whatever goal you have set out to achieve, whether that’s to lose weight, start your own business, or become a writer. It’s going to take consistency. It’s going to take doing the same small steps over and over and over until it becomes a habit in your life which will then lead to achieved goals and fulfilled dreams.
If you’ve found yourself in that middle place, ready to give up or maybe you already have given up, that’s okay. You don’t have to stay there. We all fall, we all give up from time to time, and we won’t always do this thing perfect. Just get back up, take one small step, and keep going.
Lastly, I want to encourage you with a challenge to take action.
Think of one goal you’d like to achieve in the next three months, and then narrow it down and set next action steps beside it. What you do in between your goals and your reality when determining your end results, so stay consistent even when you want to give up and keep taking the small steps.