Making resolutions for the New Year is important, for people that do not assess and reassess their goals throughout the year. Which is A LOT of us… and that’s cool.
What isn’t cool is the desperate wants and needs and desires for positive change in some form for your life in the bright new hopeful year, which doesn’t go much further than that… a desire. Because you have a crack in January, all guns blazing, no plan for when shit goes wrong, so when the first sign of struggle arises in February, you’re out. Throw the towel in. Better luck next year.
Next year comes, let’s take the EXACT SAME approach again and hope it works this time.
And so on.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and making a f**ck-up proof plan is not anywhere near as scary and complex as it seems.
Here are two outstanding methods for successfully setting goals, and absolutely goddamn nailing them in 2019.
One is a method I have worked at this year with many of our members, all to some degree of freaking awesome success. This method is called W.H.O.O.P.I.E., originally developed as WOOP by Gabriele Oettingen and then tweaked by Ben Bergeron. It is a very good system for identifying what it is you truly want and guiding you to attach more personal emotion and and connection to those desires.
The other method I am only just learning about now. I am currently reading Principles by Ray Dalio. He has developed the ‘5-Step Process to Get What You Want out of Life’. It is a little more logic based, but man is it so simple and really clear in helping you understand the importance of overcoming obstacles or problems.
The combination of both these processes makes for an absolute full proof method to make next year one of your best. Me, I’m going to make it THE best year.
Here are the two methods:
W.H.O.O.P.I.E. is an abbreviation which outlines each stage of the goal setting process. Get yourself a sheet of paper and a pen and jot each stage down with some space between each section. Then get filling…
Wishing and Hoping
Identify what it is you truly want. What it is that will lead you to happiness. They may include: Drop 3 dress sizes or from XXXL back to L, complete my first unassisted pull-up, get that promotion. They should not include: Drop XXkg, reach x% body fat on the dexa scan (unless you’re an elite athlete or in fitness modelling.
What is the actual internal outcome of achieving this or these goal/s? Is it confidence, improved self esteem, pride, the ability to play in the park with my kids without running out of breath, no get knee and back pain every time I do daily tasks, be able see my own penis again, look great naked… or the most common answer I get here, happiness.
None of these outcomes are silly, these are real life and far more motivating outcomes than someone saying “I want to lose 15kg because I weighed that when I was 20”. You don’t really want to weigh the same as you did when you were 20, you want to look shit hot in the nude, you want to feel confident in front of your husband/wife, you want to be proud of yourself. The number on the scale or poor reasoning for your goal is NOT going to give you the motivation you need to reach the true desire you want. You need to go deep here. You need to be open, honest and transparent. You SHOULD share this vulnerable outcome with somebody, for ultimate support and for accountability. This is one of the most important parts of goal setting. If you set a goal for yourself and if when considering the outcome you can’t find any real emotional attachment to the goal… it is probably not the goal you really want to achieve. Time to go a little deeper and be honest with yourself. What do you want that will make you happier?
Every path has its roadblocks. Every single thing you plan to aspire towards will have its problems and struggles. Every single person that has failed and given up on their goal has hit a roadblock and was not prepared for the action they needed to take in order to overcome it. If you don’t plan for your obstacles, you will fail.
Jot down every single thing you can come up with that has the potential to stop you in your tracks… poor time management, laziness, too many commitments, your own head, being ‘busy’/not organised, long work hours, hate cooking, not knowing what to do, too much time wasting on the phone/playstation, toxic friends, your ego, bs excuses…
You MUST plan for when each and every one of these obstacles rears its nasty little head. You may come to the realisation that in order to overcome some of these obstacles, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices, cut some unnecessary activities/people from your life, have some uncomfortable but constructive conversations, tell somebody to go f themselves. But (and this is where this system gets juicy) if you truly want to achieve your goal, which will then lead to the outcome you so desperately desire, you’re going to have to man/woman up and make some decisions.
Here is where you plan out your step by step processes to get what you want. What are you going to do day by day, week by week in order to achieve that goal. Remember that any realistic goal is going to take time. You MUST make it sustainable. You must ask yourself this time and time again while you are in the thick of it all… ‘is this sustainable?’ Because if it isn’t, it won’t stick. We want to create new habits in order to be successful. *This is why the ‘9kg in 6 weeks!’ that most gyms are going to pump you with this January are not going to work and you’ve now locked yourself into a membership that only refer to you as a number.
I’m the kind of person who…
This section is a bit of a mantra or saying you tell yourself as a gentle reminder as to why you are putting yourself through some discomfort and forcing habit change in order to reach your goals. It helps you work back through the system, back to where you’ve emotionally invested yourself in this task you’ve set yourself. So when you are in the middle of a gruelling workout, or when you’re tempting fate by walking down the chocolate aisle, or when you said you would train at 5am but bed feels oh so good, you can say to yourself ‘I’m the kind of person who gets my arse out of bed, because sleeping in is my obstacle, because I need to create the habit of not being so damn lazy, because I want to fit a size 8, because I want to love my body again, because I want to feel f**king good about myself for the first f**king time in 10 years! If I don’t get up right now, I am not taking the steps to achieve my goal. My desire to regain my self esteem will not happen.’ I bet that’ll help get you out of bed.
This stage is simple. All of these plans and desires look so cute on paper. But if I don’t take massive action NOW towards this goal, it is going to continue to stay on this paper and it won’t become my reality. Time to execute.
Ray Dalio’s 5-Step Process to Getting What You Want Out of Life
Ray Dalio is the founder and former CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He is one of the world’s 100 wealthiest people and is incredibly down to earth in his book Principles. I am about ⅔ of the way through and absolutely love it. This book suits every person that has the desire to do that little bit better, be that little bit better, and develop full proof systems and principles in order to make the best possible decisions and take the best possible actions to live a fulfilled and joyous life.
Here is his process towards goal setting. I love it as it is straight to the point and it makes sense as to why problems, obstacles and failures and learning from them is essential for progression. Without problems we never progress. Here is the system, do the same as W.H.O.O.P.I.E. and get out a sheet of paper:
Have Clear Goals.
Prioritise: While you can have virtually anything you want, you can’t have everything you want. So pick what is most important or what is most suitable for now.
Don’t confuse goals with desires. “your goal might be physical fitness, while your desire is to eat good-tasting but unhealthy food. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be a couch potato, that’s fine with me. You can pursue whatever goals you want. But if you don’t want to be a couch potato, then you better not open that bag of chips.”
Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your goals and your desires. Don’t mistake the trappings of success for success itself. If your desire is to spend time working with people instead of being trapped behind a desk, while your goal is to make a difference in your local community, find a job that lets you do both. “Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your goals and your desires. What will ultimately fulfill you are things that feel right at both levels, as both desires and goals.”
Don’t mistake the trappings of success for success itself. Like in W.H.O.O.P.I.E., make sure that what you are striving for is what will actually bring you the happiness you desire.
Never rule out a goal because you think it’s unattainable. Sure we may not all be able to play NBA, but don’t strive low, don’t let people tell you you can’t do that.
Identify and Don’t Tolerate Problems.
View painful problems as potential improvements that are screaming at you.
Don’t avoid confronting problems because they are rooted in harsh realities that are unpleasant to look at. Avoiding problems never leads to success.
Be specific and honest in identifying your problems. Like WHOOPIE, they can include time, laziness, not knowing what to do etc
Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem. “I can’t get enough sleep” is not a problem; it is a potential cause (or perhaps the result) of a problem. To clarify your thinking, try to identify the bad outcome first; e.g., “I am performing poorly in my job.” Not sleeping enough may be the cause of that problem, or the cause may be something else — but in order to determine that, you need to know exactly what the problem is.
Distinguish big problems from small ones.
Once you identify a problem, don’t tolerate it. You need to develop a fierce intolerance of badness of any kind, regardless of its severity.
Diagnose Problems to Get at Their Root Causes.
Focus on the “what is” before deciding “what to do about it.” Take your time figuring out how to overcome each obstacle.
Distinguish proximate causes from root causes. (*One of my favourite parts) Proximate causes are typically the actions (or lack of actions) that lead to problems, so they are described with verbs (I missed the train because I didn’t check the train schedule). Root causes run much deeper and they are typically described with adjectives (I didn’t check the train schedule because I am forgetful). You can only truly solve your problems by removing their root causes, and to do that, you must distinguish the symptoms from the disease.
Recognize that knowing what someone (including you) is like will tell you what you can expect from them.
Design a Plan.
Go back before you go forward. Yes. It is hard to imagine going a few steps backwards first. It is a real patience tester. But you must trust the process.
Think about your problem as a set of outcomes produced by a machine.
Remember that there are typically many paths to achieving your goals. There is no 1 answer. Which is a good thing!
Think of your plan as being like a movie script in that you visualize who will do what through time.
Write down your plan for everyone to see and to measure your progress against.
Recognise that it doesn’t take a lot of time to design a good plan.
Push through to completion. ie, Do
Great planners who don’t execute their plans go nowhere.
Good work habits are vastly underrated.
Establish clear metrics to make certain that you are following your plan.
The last few points Dalio makes are awesome.They are so relevant to all of us.
Weaknesses don’t matter if you find solutions.
So who cares if you can’t run well or are a sucker for emotional eating, if you can find a solution for these problems then they aren’t going to be problems for much longer.
Look at the patterns of your mistakes and identify at which step in the 5-Step Process you typically fail.
Then address it. Solve the problem.
Everyone has at least one big thing that stands in the way of their success; find yours and deal with it.
Or don’t expect the outcome you desire.
Dalio’s 5-Step Process follows a loop pattern. As he describes in the book, the pursuit of excellence follows this continual pattern… we move forwards and upward towards our goal, we reach problems which block our path, we spend time diagnosing and making a plan which will send us a few steps backwards, we then begin to do the new plan and continue on our onward and upward trajectory. Then we reach another problem, and again, and again…
When we don’t diagnose and plan for the problems that arise, our trajectory ends up looking like this…
So there you have it! Two solid methods to ensure 2019 is a belter for you. If you truly want a successful year and it just hasn’t been going to plan, take these methods seriously and map out a plan. Or, give us a yell. We love this stuff and can get you on track. This stuff is simple to follow, but sometimes finding what you want and designing a plan to overcome your problems/obstacles can be really difficult. So reach out to people that can help you.
A university lecturer once taught me to “surround yourself with people smarter than you”, and it has been the smartest move I ever made.
Our January Deal for New Members If you have been following along, have been interesting in giving CrossFit Cranbourne a try, but just haven’t stepped in the door yet. Well this January we are actually doing a startup deal for new members. We NEVER do discounted deals and this could quite possibly be the last time we ever do this. But here goes!
30 Days for $60 January 2019
For your first 30 days of training you will receive unlimited CrossFit classes, all of our beginner Elements classes, plus all the help you need with setting REAL goals for 2019, for only $60.
No contracts. No pressure. No risk.
We are removing the primary barrier to entry and giving you the opportunity to give our incredible gym a try for an entire month.
We know we are good at what we do. We know we can help change your life. We know that if we can get you into our doors it will be one of the best decisions you will make in 2019.