Falling off track is not at all uncommon. It’s why 21% of people set the same goal every New Years Eve to be fit/healthy, yet when only 32% achieve their goals, it becomes a repetitive cycle of setting goals, not accomplishing them and thinking your goals are too far out of reach, or worse, that you’re somehow less of a person because you missed the mark.
I shared in a prior post that I had a goal to run a sub-6 minute mile before my 40th birthday. I’m happy to say that not only did I achieve that goal, I actually surpassed my own expectations by a large margin because I got organized and figured out what I needed to do to get there. The 3 hacks below are what I did to achieve this goal, and many others in the past:
1. Become an evangelist for your goal.
Humans are a funny, yet predictable species. We enjoy the sense of accomplishment. We light up like a Christmas tree when we receive a genuine compliment. We take pride in doing what we say we’re going to do. No one likes to admit failure – so tell everyone who will listen to you what you’re going to do.
Say your goal enough times out loud until not only YOU believe you can do it, but also so you have others checking in with you who will hold you accountable to it.
You may even get some tips from those you respect that help you define your schedule for achievement, or other ideas to incorporate into the process.
2. Put a schedule together.
You’ll notice I said ‘schedule’ and not ‘plan’. You may ‘plan’ on running a marathon, but it’s only after you outline your 16-week progressive training schedule, research which shoes, hydration pack, nutrition supplements and running watch you need to buy (and subsequently purchase), sign up for the marathon and input what you need to accomplish each day during that 16-week period into your daily calendar that you’ve truly put the necessary components into an actionable schedule to achieve your goal. This may sound like a lot of work, but there is no point in creating a goal if you don’t think about what needs to go into achieving it, what the order of events needs to be, or when specific smaller goals need to be achieved to meet your timeline.
3. Make your goal your password.
I don’t know about you, but I have to enter in A LOT of passwords on a daily basis – PC, email, shopping sites, applications for work, banking account, signing up for a class at the gym — we could go on and on… but, if I want a constant reminder on a goal, I set it as my password, so I’m reminding myself CONSTANTLY of what I’ve committed to.
I’m a big fan of passphrases for this reason. Let’s say your goal is to run the Chicago marathon in under 4 hours; for that, you may use:
iwr<4Chicago – “I will run less than 4 Chicago”
Or, maybe your goal includes eating oatmeal every morning instead of skipping breakfast:
I<3oats2Day! – “I love oats today!”
You get the idea – it’s also an excellent way to ensure you don’t forget your password!
I hope these hacks help you achieve your next goal! Let me know how it works for you.
Remember: Make it fun. Remind yourself what’s possible. Get encouragement from others. Get your schedule together.