In Assessing Your Marketing Efforts- Part 1: Putting the Cart Before the Horse, I talked about defining goals and making a plan to achieve them. So let’s talk about that for a bit. Whether you’re trying to grow your business, expand your sales territory, plan for the long-term, or even lose weight setting achievable goals is step #1.
I’ve learned the value of achievable goals over the years, mostly because I’ve set unachievable goals a lot of the time. Whether it’s wanting too much too fast or trying to keep up with the Jones’s or just being competitive, I’ve learned it’s important to set goals that work for me. Goals that fit in my life. Goals that are realistic for me.
Here’s a good example…. Going to a gym has been problematic for me and I seldom meet my goals. I get bored. I get sore. I plan to go five or even seven days per week. I get upset that don’t want to go. I don’t go. In comes the negative talk out goes the plan. I hate it and then I quit. The problem is… my goals have been unrealistic. Unachievable.
I recently started going to the gym but before I started, I assessed the challenges I’ve had in the past. I set an achievable goal and I tackled each of the obstacles that have derailed me in the past:
- Goal– Go to the gym 3 times/week. Although it’s not as good a going five or seven days, it’s better than not going at all. And most weeks I end up going more than three times. A bonus I can feel good about.
- Bored- I figured out how to watch my favorite shows on my tablet at the gym. It’s a little dangerous to be laughing through Duck Dynasty while walking intervals on the treadmill, but so far I’ve managed not to fall off and last week I walked long enough for the machine to time out on me (1 hour)! I also mix it up. Some days, I do a warm up on the treadmill and then circuit the machines. Some days I skip the warm up and go straight to the circuit or I just stick to the treadmill. I used to get wrapped up with form, function, repetitions, weight, but now I remind myself that anything I do at the gym is better than doing nothing at all and this is MY goal remember?
- Diet– I’m balancing the exercise with nutritious eating. Am I on a diet? No. Am I conscious about what I eat? Yes. I learned I haven’t been eating enough protein, but now I am. And I’m listening to my stomach, not my taste buds. It’s working.
- Soreness– I consulted a professional about the soreness. I learned about L-glutamine, which is an unnoticed addition to my post-workout protein shake and as a result I have experienced no soreness from my usual workout.
I slipped up a bit twice during the gym journey these past five weeks. First I joined in a six-week weight loss challenge. My competitive streak would normally derail me on this one because I lost one week and gained it all back the next, but I’m keeping my eye on the long-term goal. I’m down from where I started that’s all that matters, plus… I’m going to the gym- remember the original goal? When you lose… you win!
My second slip up was to get lured into a boot camp type class for which I am grossly unqualified. The class put me out of commission for three days because I could hardly walk. I know if I stuck to the class I would eventually become qualified for the class, but I’m not into torture to reach my goal, plus I forgot my ‘slow and steady wins the race’ motto. I forgot the pace that works for me. I waivered from the achievable goal I set for myself. The one that works for me.
What is your goal? Is it realistic? What is your plan for reaching the goal? Is it realistic? Does it fit into your life? Your business? Does it work with your family values? Is it a goal that works for YOU? Yes? Great. Go after it. Slow and steady wins the race.