Here we are deep in week three of the New Year, everyone still on the wagon? I am hoping this will be lucky thirteen for everyone. To make good on that hope I wanted to share a few tools I personally employ to reach my goals. Setting a goal is the easy part, figuring out what you have to do to get there involves some work, and then there is the business of actually getting it done.
A few years ago when I set out to become certified as a trainer and to participate in the Tough Mudder I was not sure exactly what I needed to do – just that if I started reading and exercising more I could make it happen. I came upon a planning gem while listening to Todd Durkin on a podcast interview; he mentioned a concept called “No Brown Days”. It is a planning system to help you see the bigger, quarterly and annual picture. This was a big idea for me – having a true “year plan”, who is that organized I thought? I checked it out and started thinking of how I could use it for my new goals, as a kind of check in every few months. By employing the strategies in this system, my goals became more defined, charting how to accomplish them became simpler – and I found out when I was biting off more than I could chew.
Starting this check up on myself helped me reach huge goals in small steps. The best part was developing coping mechanisms, like rethinking my path when I saw I was truly not making any progress. It allowed me to be honest with myself. If I saw my ideas were not working I started looking up different approaches and strategies to work around the obstacles I faced, both real and self-imposed. Today, I have accomplished both my goals and my annual roadmap for 2013 is the most detailed yet. As I continue to look for ways to streamline all the work that I do I have still take time each quarter to see what I have accomplished, what is still left to do and how to turn my setbacks into learning experiences.
Here is the link to the planning system http://nobrowndays.com/. I hope that you can use or adapt it to maximize your results this year and reach all your goals. One way I use it is to set a goal number of workouts for each quarter (this time it’s 60) and mark a “T” on each day I train. It feels good to rack them up and having a number to reach is so much less stressful of a constraint than saying, “I will exercise every Monday through Friday for three months”. Let’s plan to succeed rather than set ourselves up to fail!!
This is the daily planner I use - http://www.amazon.com/Action-Day-Planner-2013-8x11/dp/9935907414 - also an incredible tool that has made my life even less stressful!
All this talk about goals make you wonder what is you truly want? Robin Sharma has some great ideas on where to get started - http://blog.success.com/channels/wealth/sharma-the-8-forms-of-wealth/. One strategy to try is - once you decide on some goals, set three tasks for each quarter that will put you closer to reaching them.