Recently, I have written a lot about goal setting from a business point of view and how to achieve those goals.
Today, however, I want to focus a little more on the personal side of goal setting when it comes to health and exercise, and how to stay focused when obstacles get in the way.
In this article, Clare and I will look at the process of goal setting in exercise, and how we can apply these techniques to aid us with some of the big, hairy, audacious goals we face in life and in business.
In order to understand how exercise goals are set, I was interested to understand the sort of work Clare does with her clients, and how she goes about setting goals for them.
Goal setting to build confidence and motivation
Clare: “Typically, we help and support people who are struggling with aches, pains, stiffness and low energy, to move more freely and get their energy back on track.
Often, they have been through some kind of life event that has affected their strength/flexibility, so have transformation plans that help them with health and wellbeing.
A big part of these transformation plans is goal setting. We look at what their goals are from a physical and aesthetic point of view, but also from an internal perspective in terms of reducing pain and stiffness and increasing energy levels. Then we can start putting together their transformation plan.
However, we spend a lot of time around setting mindset goals too, because that’s what is going to help you focus and move forward in the right direction.
When people first come to work with us, their body confidence and motivation are very low, so they need someone or something to get them out of that mindset. This is where the goal setting really helps.
Through their individual goals and transformation plans, we take them on a psychological journey to become more focused, more determined and more disciplined.
That’s where the magic really happens.”
Write down your goals in small, achievable steps
The one thing I’ve always found really useful when setting goals is being able to physically write them out, ideally somewhere I can see them on a daily basis, so I was curious to find out if that has the same effect in Clare’s world.
Clare: “We have a coaching checklist we work off which clearly lists all of our clients’ body, eating and mindset goals. Each one of these goals is then broken down on a month-by-month, week-by-week and day-by-day basis, depending on what the bigger health and wellness picture is that they’re working towards.
It’s very important that our clients can see the bigger health picture, but also know the steps they need to take in order to get there. That’s why at the end of each session we do, we make sure we assign small, achievable goals they can accomplish throughout the week.”
I think breaking down goals into small daily steps is really important. If you are trying to work on those big, hairy, audacious goals, it can be easy to get discouraged because sometimes they can look so big, and impossible to achieve.
By breaking them down into smaller steps, you’re able to stay focused on the bigger picture without becoming overwhelmed.
Of course, there will still be setbacks along the way, but if you’ve got that end picture then you’ll find ways to overcome the hurdles.
Clare has certainly faced some of her own hurdles, and has some really great insights for dealing with them as they occur.
Create little visuals of your goal to stay on track
Clare: “One of my most audacious goals was to have children. I was told I couldn’t which was obviously very upsetting, but it set me on my own personal health journey around how we could make it happen with that huge obstacle in the way.
In the end, I decided to have IVF with my partner. I learnt a lot about failure and disappointment during this time but also to just dust yourself off when those failures happen. After quite a few setbacks, I’m happy to say it ended with two beautiful boys!
The important thing is that you are holding onto that vision. One way I was able to do that was having what I called an ‘IVF shrine’ at home with images of scans to keep me focused.
One time when I was at a seminar, I went out and bought a little baby hat that said, ‘This is what cute looks like.’ I stuck it in my handbag and carried it with me everywhere, telling myself, ‘This is the hat that my baby is going to wear when it pops out.’
Visuals like that really do work wonders.”
Clare has an incredible story and she’s absolutely right here! There are so many people out there who give up too soon, but having little reminders along the way to your goals is going to keep you on track, even when you face the hurdles.
Having the right people to talk to
I think these same lessons have a real application in the business world too, and I was keen to hear how Clare had applied them to her business.
Clare: “We have completely transitioned our business over the past year, from being a completely face-to-face business to an almost fully remote one.
Although we faced a lot of uncertainty, I found I was able to really tune in to my gut feeling about what’s right from a business point of view. All of this stemmed from having the right people to help me, and knowing what my bigger picture was.
However, staying focused is also about voicing those goals and talking them through with the right people. That really helps make it happen and you can’t put a price on those sort of people.
If I was to give anyone advice on setting goals, it would be to have that vision in mind and to take time to build on that vision. Whether that is through putting up pictures, writing it out or even just talking it through with the right people, that can do a lot to make it happen.
Also, try to break that big goal down into a step-by-step, day-by-day, hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute kind of process. It’s taking that first small step that gets you to where you want to be in the end.”
More to come next week!