Anytime I sit down with a new client and start talking about their goals I always ask them what their Desired State Outcome is. In other words, “What is it you hope to gain from working together?”.
You could definitely call a desired state outcome a Goal. But, in reality it’s more like the end result of you achieving your goal or goals. It’s the prize. Or the reward for setting, following through, and achieving your goals.
There are plenty of pitfalls along the way in that process. People fail to reach their goals because they choose one that is too lofty, or to large to attain. Sometimes they choose goals that are too small, and the value of them doesn’t hold their interest. Then there are times that people fail because they don’t understand what it is that they truly want to achieve.
As you can guess, there are even more reasons why people fail at reaching specific goals they have set. The good news is that there are 5 factors you can keep in mind when setting goals that will help ensure success. Let’s take a look at each.
1. A Desired State Outcome Must Be Stated in the Positive
You don’t want to go into a lifestyle change by focusing on the wrong things. Your outcome must be stated in positive for this to happen. Or, we must focus on what we want, not on what we don’t want.
A proper desired outcome might be, “I will spend the next 90 days only eating fresh, organic whole food.”
Compare that statement to, “For the next 90 days, I will eliminate chocolate, pizza, and hamburgers from my diet.” Notice the focus of that statement. Every time you think about your goal, you will be focused on what you don’t want. This may seem silly, but believe me when I say it’s worth noting. Focus on what you want in a positive manner, and you won’t have time to think about the negatives.
2. A Desired State Outcome Must Be Initiated and Maintained by Self
If you want it…it has to be you that does the work, and goes after it. We can’t wait on people or circumstances to change for us to achieve a goal. If you can’t achieve your goal without someone else changing, it’s something you need to focus on later. Focus and change what you have direct influence on.
3. A Desired State Outcome Must be Achievable Within a Reasonable Timeframe
This is an election year, and when campaigning politicians tell me that their plan will take 20 years to implement my eyes gloss over and I quickly lose interest. There’s no way that plan will work. There are too many factors at play, and too many other politicians who are also making promises. My theory is that politicos make 20 year plans so they can’t be held responsible when it doesn’t work. They’ll be long gone in most cases.
Your goals are the same way. You can’t make a 20 year goal, and not expect everything to change between now and then. You’ll be a completely different person in completely different circumstances in 20 years. How do you even know if it’s still something you want? Your desired outcome must be achievable in the short term to ensure success. That’s why I like to work on 90 day programs with my clients. In 12 weeks we can make some incredible changes without trying to take on too much at once.
4. A Desired State Outcome Must Have a Specific Sensory Based Description
If you want it bad enough to change your daily habits (habits that you’ve spent years creating, btw), you better know exactly what that desired outcome looks like. You need to know what it looks like, what it smells like, and sounds like. How will it change your life to do this thing you want to do? Map it out. Understand it completely. If you don’t, you risk the chance of not even knowing you hit the mark.
5. A Desired State Outcome Must Be Appropriately Sized
In order to stay on track and not lose your interest in hitting your goal, it must be of significant value. It must also be attainable. Sometimes we create goals that are too lofty for us to reach in a timely manner. This is a recipe for disaster.
You have to ask yourself if you can realistically reach that desired outcome in the amount of time you have to commit to it. Losing 100 pounds is a fantastic goal! But, can you lose it in 90 days? Probably not, but you could probably lose 20 pounds in 90 days. It’s not 100, but keep breaking that desired outcome up into manageable sizes and you’ll hit it so much easier.
If you follow these 5 rules when you sit down to create goals for yourself, you be setting yourself up for success!
As a health coach, what I do is guide people along this process of creating a desired state outcome. I help people realize what their dreams are, and help them create a vision and actionable program to realize them.
If you don’t know where to start, I’m here for you. Each and every week I set aside times for what I call Success Strategy Sessions. These short (and FREE!) coaching calls are designed to get you moving toward your goals and reaching them at lightening speed. During the call we’ll talk about where you currently are, where you’d like to be, and come up with some quick actionable steps you can take right away.
These calls are FREE, but I only have a limited amount of time to do them each and every week. They are “first-come-first-serve”. If you’d like to schedule a free Success Strategy Session CLICK HERE!