Do you have a clear goal? More often than not, people don’t actually have a clear goal in mind, and know exactly what they’re working towards. This is one of the most important things if you want to maximise your chances of achieving any positive outcome. Whether it’s to do with your health & fitness, your career, or your own emotional development, you must have a clear goal.
When you have a clear goal, a powerful thing happens.
While you are awake, your brain processes 11 million bits of information every second. And to reduce overwhelm, you have an unconscious system in your brain called the reticular activating system. It is designed to filter out what information it deems to be useless, and bring information into your conscious mind that it deems to be important. Here is an example:
Have you ever bought a car, and then started to notice it everywhere? Before you bought that car, noticing it didn’t serve you any purpose, it wasn’t important. Now you’ve bought that car, your brain sees it as being important, and brings it to your conscious awareness.
Here is another example; you’ve decided you want to lose some weight, and you’ve concluded that your diet needs the most attention. You’ve unknowingly activated your reticular activating system and programmed it to keep an eye out for information that will help you to reach that goal. That night, you are watching your favourite tv show, and during the ads, an advert comes up for ‘Light & Easy’. The ad is very popular, you’ve more than likely seen it dozens of times, but now you have a weight loss goal and a focus on nutrition, your brain is deeming it to be important and brings it to your conscious awareness.
The more often you review your goal, the stronger you will program your reticular activating system, and the more things will start to fall in place for you.
How then, do we make a clear goal?
One of the easiest ways to make a strong, clear and precise goal is to follow the acronym, Smart – S.M.A.R.T
This stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
Here is an example of a goal using this method:
My goal is to lose 15 kgs by my birthday next year which is in 10 months time. I want to do this because I have a job promotion interview the week after my birthday and I want to have the confidence and certainty to go in there and make it mine.
This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and it is timely.
Research shows when we tick these 5 boxes, we are much more likely to accomplish our goals.
Also remember, track your progress often. If you set a goal on new years, and you check your progress the following new years, you may be shocked to find you haven’t made much. If you measure your progress each week, your have 52 times in a year that you can alter your approach to ensure you get the progress you deserve.