When I was in middle school a boy wrote in my yearbook,
“May your life be like a roll of toilet paper, long and useful.”
At the time I was thinking what kind of statement is that to leave in my yearbook?! And now I say that every new year is like starting with a brand new roll of Northern Quilted or whatever your favorite toilet paper brand is.
The first quarter passes quietly; you have a lot of toilet paper.
Summer arrives and it’s like wow half the year is already gone, the roll still looks substantial so you’re not too worried.
Then fall and the holidays arrive and you’re like oh crap gotta go out and buy another roll of toilet paper. You’re almost out!
Yep the year is like a roll of toilet paper and now you’re another year older.
So what did you accomplish and how did you grow?
Zig Ziglar, a personal development coach, once said,
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
Each sheet of toilet paper is represents a day in the year. One day flows into the next, and many of us never quite get around to turning our goals into reality.
Mostly because it’s exciting to make goals but our goals are pretty vague to begin with.
Vague goals are impossible to focus on and aim for because they are moving targets.
Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the winter weight that has crept upon you.Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and seriously stick with it this time.
Does this sound familiar?
Do you have moving targets in your life?
The keys to being successful and reaching your goals before you change the toilet paper roll and another year passes is to steady the target and create momentum.
How do you stop a moving target?
Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target.He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left.
Will he ever hit that target? Not likely.
Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target.
You would like to get back in shape.
Get a little stronger.
Lose that belly fat.
It’d be nice to get back into those jeans again.
But all these goals and aspirations are vague.
Without clearly defined goals and methods you cannot focus and make it happen.
The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to clearly define your goals and write them down:
(1) How much weight do you want to lose?
(2) What kind of changes do you want to make in your diet?
(3) How many days per week do you want to exercise?
(3)Which article of clothing do you wish would fit your body again?
(4) How much weight would you like to lift while strength training?
Once you know where you want to end up, you are much more likely to get there. Take a day to reflect on what you really want to achieve health and fitness wise.
When you’re writing down your goals follow my 3 rules for setting goals so that know for certain you’re making progress,
1. Be Specific
Remember yesterday about the moving target? Target keeps moving because your goal is vague. If you want to nail the target you must steady the target.
This means your goal MUST be specific.
I want pounds, inches, percentages, numbers written down.
Not I want to lose some weight. It’s I want to lose 10lbs.
Not I want to be able to fit into my college jeans. It’s I want to lose 4 inches around my waist and 2 inches around each thigh.
Not I want to eat healthier. It’s I only do take out on Friday nights instead of Mon through Fri.
Not I want to eat more vegetables. It’s I’m going to eat a w handful of vegetables at lunch and dinner.
2. Make Your Goals Measurable
How do you know if you’re getting closer to your goals every day/week/month if you cannot measure them?
Here are some tools to help you out,
(1) The scale
(2) A DEXA scan to help you measure bodyfat
(3) The measuring tape
(4) A calendar for tracking habits that made Jerry Seinfeld 7-figures a year
Find a tool that you can get feedback on a regular basis to tell you if you’re getting closer to your goal or not.
3. Set A Realistic Deadline
Here’s the truth…most every goal you set is achievable. The reason most people fail to reach their goal is because of the timeline they put on it.
We’ve been swept up in too much marketing hype for so long we don’t even know what is realistically achievable for us that when we don’t reach a goal we see others reach we think it’s not meant for us.
With the right plan and discipline you can reach your goal but it will take longer than you expect.
Fat and weight loss doesn't happen in a linear fashion and neither does gaining muscle. You can steadily drop a pound or two a week for 2 months than stall for a few weeks then start losing again.
If you focus on on being consistent and taking those small actions I promise that you will get there. It’s not that your goal is unattainable, it’s the deadline you give yourself to get there.
A healthy guideline for weight loss is 1% of your bodyweight a week. For fat loss it’s about 0.5 to 1% of total bodyfat. For women, gaining muscle happens at about 0.5 lbs a month but under optimal conditions it can be up to a 1 lb a month especially if you're a newbie lifter.
Those numbers are max limits for most people and under certain circumstances it can fluctuate but use that as a guideline to help you set a realistic timeline for yourself.
Success doesn't just take goal setting but it takes momentum to get moving.