Creating actions to accomplish your goals

Without this, your are lost.

You hear it all the time – dreams, hopes, goals, plans, intentions – all the things that people want to accomplish and get done or have but there is usually a single step that is missing. The key ingredient that controls all success or failure – action.

Something similar has been assigned to half a dozen people – a goal without action is a dream (or a wish). It’s true and we see it all the time in the fitness world. I too am guilty of it. I want to be more fit, more lean – as I eat a donut. I want to eat better but without setting aside time to cook or prepare healthy food, I too am stuck just grabbing whatever as the day steamrolls over me.

It’s one of the reasons I love to sign up for big races; it is an external goal that pulls on me as soon as I register. It demands action by virtue of the deadline. That is powerful stuff!

It is the reason I have a coach and truly believe in having one. My coach sets up my plan based on my race season, current fitness and work load. He does not care how I feel and that right there is key. His plan forces me to take action on a daily basis and to get out of my own way.

That said, having a brilliant plan and not following it accomplishes nothing. It’s like buying a great book and never reading it or buying the best cookbook full of recipes that will change your health, but if you never make a meal from it – useless.

The latest six week program I ran (a ladies only program), involved just that – a cookbook full of healthy recipes and a meal plan that made sure the people in the challenge used nearly every recipe in it, plus we had all the classes to create strength (the action steps). The results were amazing (some ladies dropped over 20 lbs.), and there was a total paradigm shift in the big challenge of knowing what to eat that is yummy and healthy at the same time. We did have one person that didn’t have success in the program. She did not attend classes, did not follow the meal plan and never made a single recipe from the book in spite of all efforts to help. Nothing wrong with that (we just gave a refund), but it does illustrate again – a plan without action is just a wish and wishes change nothing.

So write out your goals today. Make them specific and make them about actions, not results. For example, if your goal is to drop 10 lbs of fat in the next two months, great! But that is not an ‘action goal’ and you can’t actually ‘go drop 10 lbs’ as a thing to do no matter how hard you tried. But what you can do is set goals that will lead you to that 10 lb weight change. Set up goals like going to the gym and attending class three times this week. Spend four hours on Sunday preparing healthy foods and placing them in the fridge and freezer so they are ready to eat all week. Drink two litres of water each day while cutting out pop or sugary drinks. Go for a 20 minute walk after supper five nights this week. Get at least seven and a half hours of sleep each night.

Do you see how all of those things have to do with action towards the goal, but none of them involve the actual goal? That is the key! If you do those things that 10 lbs does not stand a chance!

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

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