Planning for Success
By IFBB Pro Dr. Brett Kahn
It’s never too late to start your New Year resolutions! Don’t fret if you’ve taken a gimme month to get your life straight. Have you ever felt stuck in making a New Year’s resolution? I know I have. This year I decided to do something different instead of making the usual “resolutions”. There was a time where I crushed all my goals and during which I constantly kept saying, “What’s next?” or “now what?” or even “I want more.”
I had been consistently climbing the ladder in work, had hit my financial goals, was happy with the way I looked (and had won several physique competitions), but I was lacking fulfillment.
Let’s be honest, my life was never perfect, but to the outsider looking in, it probably couldn’t get much better. This past year was one of the biggest lessons in humility and fulfillment I think I may ever receive. Things that helped me get through this period included letting go of expectations and being okay with changing rules or goals. Being a long-time student and entrepreneur, two of the things I heard over and over were: “never be the smartest person in the room” and “being comfortable sucks.”
While it’s important never to get too comfortable and to always be on the lookout for new ways to mix things up, there are a number of additional components involved in setting and reaching, your yearly targets. I have taken the liberty of giving you my top-ten strategies for better goal setting.
- Surround yourself with people who challenge you. When you think of the word “challenge” you may immediately visualize a competition or test or think I mean challenging in a negative sense. I mean challenge in terms of who can I hang out with and give my headspace to, that will stimulate my brain in such a way that I want to be better.
TIP: Have one of these people be your accountability partner. You can text each other mid-week or mid-month to check-in and make sure you are on track.
- Be honest with yourself. Why are you not reaching your fitness goals? Are your goals realistic? Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Being honest with yourself and people around you is one of the hardest things to do, but probably the most important if you want to achieve any real growth in your life. Make sure your goals are reachable.
TIP: Make micro-goals. If you want to lose 30lbs this year, it may help to say you want to lose 10lbs within the first quarter, and then track your progress month to month and adjust your goal, as needed.
- Make a list of what’s slowing you down. What are your bad habits? Do you get sucked into Facebook or Instagram for hours on end watching everyone’s highlight reel? What can you cut out of your schedule and, instead, replace with a healthy habit? If it’s a person you’re constantly comparing yourself to physically, it may be beneficial to have them, or their physique, on your vision/goal board.
TIP: Delete the Facebook app off your phone to minimize your time scrolling
- Make a list of things you want to accomplish, and then order them from those that require immediate attention to those you would like to achieve within the next five years. I figured out the five most important things I wanted to achieve within the next six months, the next year and the next five years.
TIP: Don’t stress about making 5 or 10 year goals! Start small. It’s ok if you don’t know what you want in 10 years. Goals are ever-changing and should progress over time.
- List step-by-step the exact steps you will take to reach each goal. Do you want to lose 10 lbs or maybe lose 10 inches? How are you going to achieve these goals? The first step might be to record your weight and/or measurements. The next might include giving yourself a timeline to achieve this goal that is both realistic measurable.
TIP: List step-by-step the exact steps you will take to reach each goal.
- Meal prep. Meal prepping or having a company that you buy meals from weekly is a life changer. Having the ability to pull out a meal and heat it up makes your life easy.
TIP: Buy containers that allow you to have healthy portions of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
- Follow the schedule. Some of the most successful people I know literally schedule every hour of their day out, months in advance. Most of us don’t or won’t do this, even though we know the benefits exceed the time spent making it happen.
TIP: Buy a planner that allows you to schedule your time by the hour. You may also want to post this schedule above your workspace so you are ever conscious of what needs to be done, and when.
- Say yes to switching-up your routine. Yes, to traveling. Yes, to meeting new people. Saying yes gets you out of your comfortable routine and challenges you physically and intellectually.
TIP: Say yes to things that you would normally never give a chance. I love to lift weights, but avoid cardio unless I carve out time for it. Your friend asks you to join them for spin class or a run in the park? Great, I need to work on my cardio.
- Find motivation within yourself. You cannot expect your workout partner to motivate you to go to the gym every day. By relying on your partner, you are setting yourself up for failure and putting a ton of pressure on your friend!
TIP: Put your goals into your cell phone. (I know you take it everywhere) There are some great apps out there that will help you track your goals, progress, and so on.
- Don’t beat yourself up. When you don’t reach a goal, don’t get down on yourself or throw in the towel. Tomorrow is another day.
TIP: Reward yourself for hitting your goals.
I hope these steps have opened your eyes to a new way of setting goals and getting 2019 started right! My 2019 goals will change throughout the year, but remember, no one is perfect, and if you fall off the wagon, you just start over again tomorrow. Surround yourself with people that want to empower you. Make 2019 your best year yet.