There are three additional aspects to goals setting (and really goal fulfillment) I think are important: make a commitment that puts you on the hook, find people to help hold you accountable and stick to your goal.
How to put yourself on the hook...
I think the easy way to do this is to sign up for an event or put yourself in a situation where you have to achieve your goal.
Maybe you buy that dress for your highschool reunion that will fit perfectly once you lose those 15 lbs, sign up and pay for that powerlifting meet or marathon as far in advance as possible.
It also may be as simple as creating a “contract” stating your goal and the time of fulfillment. “I commit to losing 15 lbs by May 1st.” You can add short term goals along the way. “I commit to XYZ workout three times a week”. Just writing it down and making a commitment is a powerful strategy to help hold you accountable.
This rolls into the next aspect:
Find people to help hold you accountable...
One easy way to do this is to ask your friends for help. Have them confirm with you on the days you train or everyday if it involves sticking to a nutrition plan.
Give them a simple task. Maybe sugar is one of your biggest weaknesses. Have your friend ask you if you’ve eaten sugar today. This works, unless you enjoy lying to your friends.
You can do this through social media. Your friend or friends can hold you accountable by requesting you post your progress and calling you out if you don’t. Better yet, create a Facebook group. Invite the friends you want to enroll and have them hold you accountable.
There are some pretty cool apps that help with this as well. I have not used any of these so I can’t account for their effectiveness or how user friendly they are but they look interesting.
~ You make slaying your goals a game!
http://www.stickk.com/ - You set your goals, create a contract, select someone or a group to hold you accountable (a “referee” as they call it) and submit reports stating your progress. You can also put money on the line and choose who you want it to go to if you fail to fulfill on your contract. You can choose a charity or “anti-charity” if you’d prefer.
https://www.dietbet.com/charity ~ Seems similar to StickK but more focused on weight loss.
The final aspect...: Stick to your goal.
Essentially don’t get distracted...
For the most part if you have done the above this should be easy. You know your “why”. You’ve made a commitment and you’re on the hook. Plus you’ve enrolled some friends and asked them to hold you accountable.
However, if you’re anything like me, shinny objects can distract you!
Here’s what I mean...
I’ve been working towards a half body weight single arm kettlebell press which is 40 kg or 90 lbs. That is my “what”. My “when” was September 22nd. The date of my StrongFirst Level Two kettlebell certification. Since I didn’t complete the press I now have till December 22nd to submit a video of me completing the press. My “why” is to improve my ability to program for maximum strength to better serve my clients. As well as my own desire to complete the requirements to achieve this certification.
I put myself on the hook by signing up nine months in advance and I had a community of friends, clients and colleagues I kept informed on my progress.
Even with the list checked I had to constantly bring my attention back to my goal and not let myself get distracted with other interest like jujitsu, increasing aerobic conditioning and running distance, playing around with hypertrophy or bodybuilding programing.
This is challenging for me. I can easily get distracted and this delays my success.
There is a great quote I heard the “Strength Sensei”, Charles Poliquin mention in a podcast with Tim Ferriss. “You can’t ride two horses with one ass”.
Two great podcast with Tim Ferriss and Charles Poliquin:
In addition to having clearly laid out the “what”, “when”, “why”, putting myself on the hook and having others hold me accountable I also need to establish very clear ground rules for myself and no matter how tempting avoid any distractions and take on any additional goals or endeavors. If you are at all questioning if doing something else will derail your efforts by taking your focus and energy or possibly causing you injury, DON’T DO IT!
Keep it simple...Say NO and stick to your goal!
I hope this is helpful. Let me know if it is!