4 Rules for Reaching any Goal

by Rebecca on March 15, 2015

4 Rules for meeting anyIt is amazing to me that I can go through all the rigors of professional school and accomplish my professional goals, yet getting my body composition where I want it seems to be completely baffling for me.

We all have our struggles and things we want to do better, but how often do we set goals for ourselves and get nothing accomplished or worse yet, we go backwards!

I recently heard about “Succeed-How We Can Reach our Goals” by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D.  I picked up a copy and came away with a ton of great insight about how to set goals that actually get accomplished.

There are many huge takeaways from the book and here are two that I think you must keep in mind when setting any goals for yourself.  The wonderful thing about these two is that we are ALL capable of doing these!

 “Planning when, where and how you will take actions needed to reach your goals is probably the single most effective thing you can do.”

 “Reaching a goal is more about effort, persistence and planning than innate ability”

At the back of the book, Halvorson talks about 9 things successful people do differently.  I wish I could share all nine with you now, but I am hoping these few ideas will be enough to wet your appetite – you should definitely dig into this book!

 1. Be specific– so many times people will have a goal of wanting to lose weight.  Unfortunately, that is where most people stop and why year after year they never seem to lose that stubborn weight.  “Decrease my body fat percentage by 6% by 12/31/14” is a much more powerful goal than “lose weight this year.

2. Seize the Moment to act on your goals– decide when and where you will take action in advance.  Rather than say I will work out three times a week, a better approach is to say- I will work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 30 minutes immediately after work.  Amazingly, this type of specific planning has been shown to increase success by about 300% (that is not a typo).

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go- It is so easy to become distracted by life and lose sight of the goals you set for yourself.   With regards to my body composition goals- I track my measure measurements every other Sunday that way I know if I need to change things up or hopefully I receive some affirmation that I am headed in the right direction.

4. Don’t tempt fate-  Willpower is limited and if you are overly stressed you will succumb to the doughnuts in the break room.  Also, don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once if at all possible.  Combining quit smoking with losing weight is doomed for failure.  Figure out what is currently most important to you and start with that.  Personally, I would suggest to focus on quit smoking before losing weight!

I hope these suggestions will help you set and reach all the goals you have!

Join the conversation! Leave us your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook. What is the biggest struggle you have when it comes to goals: getting started or maintaining them?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie March 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

For me it is definitely maintaining them!! I have long lists of goals have I “started” but that is about as far I have gotten. I have heard the idea of breaking down goals into manageable steps and being specific.
I will put this book on my to read list. I am still working on the Power of Habit. I guess I need to set a goal of a chapter a day to every get this book read!


Rebecca March 15, 2015 at 9:17 pm

I am actually putting together a one page template to help you break down goals into bite size pieces- it will be hopefully coming out soon to all the subscribers

Thanks for commenting!


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