Updated: Jan 24
In an earlier blog we talked about the importance of having a vision to set the direction we want to go, something that is motivating and engaging.
Our vision needs to be something we emotionally connect to for us to really decide to take the action needed. How do we determine the steps to take that lead us in the right direction though?
I said in the blog, that our vision should be our dreams, and to make those dreams a reality is to break it down, setting the right goals and tasks to get there. Having both our vision and goals are important to achieve what we want, as well as help keep us focused and on track. However, we don’t always tie these things together in a way that really sets us up for success. This can result in us either dwindling, derailing and even giving up. Never getting to where we aspire.
Having clear goals and steps provide the drive and discipline to persist in the face of adversity and help us achieve what it is we really want. By achieving them, we gain a huge sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, increase in confidence, meet our needs, drive and provide desired behavior. It allows us to have focus, give us direction and purpose.
So, let’s talk about goals. We dug deep to uncover what our longer-term vision is and the reasons why it’s important to us. Longer-term vision provides us with the motivation at the forefront of our mind, so we can start to develop an effective goal that we are excited by. Now we need to get focused and break this down into manageable steps that build on that intention. We also need a way of monitoring our progress. What we need alongside this is an effective goal-setting process that supports us to assess the best steps to take.
There is a simple model I would like to share with you to support making that happen. Hand on heart, I can confidently say following this will help you achieve more than you thought possible, if you use it properly. It’s probably the best thing I have come across, in both sport and business. This model not only clarifies what your goal is and why it’s important and motivating to you, but also how you will achieve it. Giving you a huge amount of control. The model highlights the three main types of goals you should be setting yourself and how they fit together; Outcome, Performance and Process goals. It creates a goal map for you so you can clearly see your plan on a page. This also aligns to your overall vision showing a clear line of sight throughout.
This is our ultimate why. Setting the direction in which we want to take. What we want our future to look like. Something that is compelling, exciting and emotive to us.
Ask yourself and write down at top of the page (e.g. I want to live an active life and do the things I want to. I want to have the freedom to move around without worry or anxiety that I can’t do it, find joy in challenging myself and be independent):
Why is this really important to me?
What’s the story I want to tell?
How will I feel when I get here?
These are specific and outline the results you hope to achieve in the end; the dream and aspiration. This should be hugely motivating and exciting for you with more of a longer-term focus. It makes you want to keep going even when it gets hard.
Ask yourself and write down underneath your vision (e.g. To successfully rehabilitate my injured knee to be active):
What is the outcome you want to achieve?
What is the dream?
What will be exciting about achieving this?
These set the standards and measurable targets at which we will perform our process goals. It sets us up for being in the best position to achieve our outcome; the end result. They tend to be numbers based or a simple yes, I did that or no, I didn’t. There may be a few performance goals that sit under the outcome goal.
Ask yourself and write down under your outcome goal (e.g. Run a mile with no pain in 12 months, be able to do weighted lunges and squats without knee pain, Complete 2 Physical Therapy sessions/week):
What are your key performance measures for this outcome?
What needs to be true for the outcome to be possible?
These are the disciplines, your to-do list, the consistent and regular things you do that will get you to where you want. They are the stepping stones or incremental steps to achieving your performance measures, that take you to your end goal. It’s the behaviors and strategies to help you perform, increasing the chances of achieving your desired result. This is where you put the hard work in and have the highest level of control. You can have multiple process goals that take you to achieve your performance goals.
Ask yourself and write down under each performance goal (e.g. work with trainer to build strength program, schedule sessions in each week, follow surgeons instructions pre and post op (non-weight bearing for 3 months), start running 0.17 miles in 6 months and increase by 0.17 miles each month after that):
How will you achieve these performance measures?
How will you make this happen?
How can you break this into smaller manageable pieces?
How will you start to move things forward?
By going through this process, you are able to clearly see the destination and the path to get there.
You can’t always control the outcome, but what you are in control of are the process goals, those incremental steps that need to be taken. By focusing at this level, being disciplined and putting in the hard work you are putting yourself in the best position to achieve those performance goals which in turn sets you up for your outcome. Just think of all the successes you will achieve along the way, not only the success of the end result. This contributes to building our self-belief. And when things do get tough and we want to give up, we need to lift our head up, remind ourselves why we are doing it to keep motivated and inspire ourselves, driving us forward. Make this visual put it somewhere for you to look at, monitor and check off regularly. Let’s make those dreams a reality.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like further 1:1 support.