We’ve all made them.....
- I’m going to lose 30lbs.
- I’m going to run a marathon.
- I’m going to hike the Appalachian Trail.
- I’m going to run 500 miles this year.
- I’m going to spend more time with my family.
98% of us might make it to February with them..
What if there was a formula to help you methodically set goals that you’ll actually (want) to keep and make it nearly impossible for you to fail at keeping them?
Don’t get me wrong -
This still takes work - so don’t think this is a cheat, easy-way out, or shortcut. BUT if you commit to following this formula you’ll be a part of the 2% that actually smash this new year and reach the goals you’re after!
For this exercise I’m going to use one of my goals “Getting Outside More” and break it down into this formula - ready?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- (1) note card per goal
- (1) pen or pencil
- (1) coffee or tea in a quiet place
Here we go -
Step 1: Visualize the end.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else” Yogi Berra
Ask the question, what does 100% success look like?
In other words, at the end of the year when you’re looking back over the prior 365 days, what would you have accomplished in order to feel like you crushed your goal? Did you climb Everest? Or teach your 7 year old how to start a campfire? Being definitive and clear about a successful outcome is incredibly important.
Example: I will be successful at ‘getting outside more’ if I have completed 20 overnight backpacking trips in 20 different locations, mountain biked 150 miles on single track, climbed 50 single pitch routes outside, and paddle boarded 25 miles.
See how we wrapped specific details around our goal? Don’t miss this! This is the key step to hitting a goal, you have to know exactly what it looks like when you’ve reached it.
Step 2: What are you willing to give up?
Ask the question, what am I willing to give up in order to reach this goal?
Nothing in this world is free so now it’s time to find out how bad you really want to reach your goal. This world is pretty simple, usually we receive what we are willing to give. You’ll have to pay the piper to achieve your goal, might as well face it squarely. It helps to tie a specific ‘give’ to each of the above visualizations you created in Step 1.
Example: (20 overnight trips) I will give up 24 hours of my normal life every 15 - 20 days. (150 miles of single track) Once per week I will give up my lunch break. (50 single pitch routes) Twice per week I will give up 1 hour of working time, go to the climbing gym and train. (paddled 25 miles) I will give up 7 lazy Sundays this year, from May - September.
Now you know exactly what you have to give up to reach your goal, so let’s get to the nitty gritty of it.
Step 3: Get to the plan.
Creating a change in your routine can be incredibly difficult, but creating small consistent changes will empower you to break through that change and reach your goal.
“A journey of 1,000 miles, begins with a single step” Lao Tzu
When crafting your plan, you’ll want to build in small micro decisions that are easy to make but add up to your big win. If you do this right you’ll craft one plan for each of the visualizations you completed in Step 1 and you should be able to say it in a single sentence.
Let’s break that down..
Example: We will use my "Climbing 50 single pitches outside" - visualization from Step 1.
I know where I want to end up at year’s end, but how do I get there?
Ask the question, What is the one thing I can do that will most guarantee that I will not only climb but enjoy climbing 50 single pitches this year? (Tip, keep asking the question till you get to the root item - sometimes it takes 5 or more questions!)
Example: To enjoy climbing I have to actually be able to climb, to do this I need to train consistently, to do this I need to work out and practice consistently, to do this I need to join a gym - more specifically a climbing gym.
However, joining just isn’t enough, now I have to schedule time into my calendar for going to that gym and better yet find a friend to schedule that time with me.
Breaking it down into something you can act on consistently, these micro commitments are where the magic lives. These little wins reinforce your momentum and keep you on track to reach your goal.
In short: Put that one thing on your calendar, have a friend holding you to it, and (bonus) if you are paying monthly for it - you’ll probably be even MORE incentivized to take action!
I’ve scheduled (3) 1 hour climbing sessions with my wife in the gym every week. Doing this not only gets us in shape (so we’re ready to climb outside) but it’s become an enjoyable outlet for both of our busy days.
Step 4: Immediate Action.
Now take action, immediately.
There are two actions you need to take:
- Act on the plan you crafted. Don’t worry, the details will flesh themselves out when you start taking action.
- Repeat your goal to yourself out-loud every day. May sound weird BUT it works, you saying your goal out loud everyday will in fact gear your body up to take action.
Just so you know, the first action you take will feel really good, but the 2nd - 12th actions will be laborious and will feel impossible to pull through. However, once you develop the habit of taking action towards your goal and you continue to remind yourself of the goal - it’s nearly impossible for you to not reach your goal!
Drop us a comment below on what your goals are this year!
If you’re committed to getting outside more this year like me, be sure to grab our Ninox System, it’s kinda like taking an insurance policy out on your comfort when you venture out - the right gear can make all the difference in your level of enjoyment!