Ditch SMART Goals for POWER Goals
Welcome to 2019! It’s a new year, and with that, there is a sense to rebirth for many people. It is a time to reinvent themselves or make a minor adjustment in their life for the better. The ever so popular New Year’s Resolution has been made by millions if not billions of people; however, only approximately 9% of people will reach the goal of their resolution. Furthermore, 80% of people fail their resolution by FEBRUARY! Why do so many people fail? Is it their motivation, sense of purpose, or capabilities? In reality, everyone is different, but a significant issue is that people generally do not have a plan for achieving their goals.
So to beat the odds, you need an action plan, more specifically your need a POWER Goal Action Plan which you can follow and crush those 2019 goals.
Most people head into goals without adequate preparation. Keep in mind that goal preparation takes a significant portion of the time. It’s more than merely stating that you are going to “lose weight” and expect the pounds to disappear. You need to personally reflect and figure out why this goal is important to you. Try to make it as personal as possible to hit home.
For example, using losing weight as an example your why may be “to be able to play with my grandchildren,” when you are only 30–40 years old. The more personal that the goal means to you, the more likely that you are to achieve it.
You now know what and why you want to achieve but how do you achieve it? The best way to figure this portion is to look at those who already have reached your goal. These people may be superiors, friends and family, or even influencers in the space. Look at their habits and routines, their actions, and their attitudes. All of these will give you clues to what actions you are to take to achieve your goal.
These actions are what I call supporting actions. Simply put, they are the true reasons why you will be successful with your goals. I recommend approximately three supporting actions per goal. This way, if you fail to complete one of the actions in the week, you still have two others which are bringing you closer to your goal.
So in the context of losing weight, my three supporting actions may be:
- Exercising for 1 hour 3 times per week.
- Inputting all food consumption into MyFitnessPal daily.
- Allowing yourself 1 “cheat meal” per week.
The next step is where many people fail and then this snowballs into quitting their goals — plan. A flexible routine will help you achieve your goals, so I recommend that you schedule a time to plan and at the same time every week. But always keep in mind a plan B should you be unavailable during your usual time.
So when you are planning your supporting actions, I want you to literally schedule them. Every single action. If you plan on exercising three times per week, then exactly when are you going to do that? Schedule everything. Period.
This is it; you have been waiting for this moment since the beginning. Going out and crushing your supporting actions day in day out. But there’s more to it than doing what you said you would do. Execution has more about when you DON’T do what you said you would do than doing it. Confused? Thought so. The point is simple; it’s easy to do things. Especially when they are new and exciting. It’s hard when we stop doing those things and try to get back into the groove. This is where you need to ensure:
- Don’t beat yourself up.
- Ensure you have the flexibility to shift your schedule around as required.
Slip-ups can easily compound themselves to catastrophic failure. Execution is all about setting the conditions so that you can easily and quickly rebound. Then you continue executing on your plan.
The final step in the process is to review your past week. Pick a day, usually the same time when you do your weekly planning and review your past week.
- What went well?
- What supporting actions didn’t you achieve?
- Why didn’t you achieve them?
- What could be done to mitigate these problems so that you can reach 100% on your action task list?
Once you figure out what went right, maximize on that. Ensure that you continue to use those tactics to keep achieving success on those actionable items. On the other hand, for the actions which you are failing at, find ways to make them successful. Maybe it’s merely scheduling; maybe it’s that you need some help or new skills, or perhaps you need to manage your expectations. Remember quality always beats quantity — so make sure all of your POWER goals are reasonable and achievable within your capabilities. With a little work of course!
Through using this process, I have achieved many things in my life. However, most importantly it is how I juggle my responsibilities of being a husband, father of two, a senior Army officer, and running my own podcast and coaching service. POWER goals have made my life better and will undoubtedly help make yours better as well. Now go and crush them!