"I'm going to lose 20 pounds!" or "I am going to get back in shape this year!" These are just two of many goals I here people throwing around day in and day out. There is nothing wrong with having goals. It is whether or not you stick with achieving them or not that makes the difference. Everyone has goals that they want to achieve, but it is the loss of motivation, discipline, and drive that gets in our way to achieve them.
Why not make contracts with yourself? Yes, a real contract, signature and all, to achieving your goals. I am going to give you a simple outline of a contract that you can use to put yourself on track to reaching your goals once and for all. The outline for your contract consists of five parts. These parts are:
- Long Term Goals
- Short Term Goals
- Payoffs and Benefits
- Action Plan
You first must get out a sheet of paper and think about ways to better yourself and translate these ways into goals. I would also recommend taking photographs from every side to critique yourself. This will allow you to evaluate where you are and where you want to be in the future. It is also going to serve as a great reminder on where you came from and allows you to adjust your goals to where you wan to be.
LONG TERM GOALS
The first part, Long-Term Goals, should be something you want to achieve within 1-3 years and not too general. For example it might be to compete in a bodybuilding contest or to buy a car you had your eyes on. Again, as you can see, you can put this type of system and mentality toward anything you want, fitness related or not.
SHORT TERM GOALS
Now you go to the second part, which are Short-Term Goals. This is where you must be very specific. This should be a REALISTIC goal that you will set out to achieve within an 8-12 week period.
Examples are to drop your bodyfat from 18% to 14% or to increase your bench press from 260 pounds to 300 pounds. Your short-term goals are the ones that you will be shooting for now that when combined with your other short-term goals will yield your long-term goal.
PAYOFFS AND BENEFITS
Payoffs and Benefits is the third section. This is where you will write down what are the benefits of your long-term goal when you achieve it. Let's take losing weight, which is a common goal for most people. Losing weight will make you feel better, look better, a greater sense of well-being, clothes fitting better, makes you look younger, etc. Whatever you feel your goal will benefit you when it is achieved write down. This is going to help create and even more vivid picture in your mind on what you are shooting for.
The fourth part is Rewards. This is the fun part. Write down the rewards you will give yourself when the goal is achieved. Again, using weight as an example, It might be to buy yourself a new dress, or for guys a nice suit. Make sure it is a great reward because you will owe to yourself when your goal is met.
The fifth and final, and most important, is your Action Plan. This is the section where you will list the things you will change, do, or acknowledge everyday to achieve you short term goal that will eventually lead to your ultimate long-term goal. Your Action Plan must also be specific and realistic. I wouldn't run 10 miles per day at the beginning so instead shoot for two. Here is an example for some looking to drop their body fat let's say 4% and to put on about three pounds of muscle:
- Train with weights at least 3 times per week
- Complete 30 min. of Cardio on empty stomach 5 days per week.
- Prepare all my meals in advance (prevents cheating on junk food)
- Eat a clean low fat, well balanced diet (at least 4 small meals per day)
- Keep a daily journal of how I feel and what I eat
Now it is time to make it legal. With all five parts complete write the following statements: "I hereby state that I will abide by everything listed above, I can do it! It will be achieved! There is no stopping me! I have the discipline determination, and the will to achieve all of my goals! Without doubts consider it done!
Your contract is now valid and it is up to you and your passions to achieve your goal. Make copies of your contract and post it everywhere. On the refrigerator at work, make sure you see it at least five times a day.
Another handy tip is to hang up a calendar. If you followed your ACTION PLAN perfectly for that day, initial that day on your calendar. It will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day and to see how discipline you are staying towards achieving your goal.
YOU CAN EVEN COOK!
You can use this contract for any goal you want from being a better student in school to learning how to cook a gourmet meal. There is no goal too large or too small. A goal cannot be met without taking action. So take the time to make a contract to your goals, and don't let anything get in your way. If you do not do something to better yourself today, you will be the same tomorrow as you were yesterday. GOALS!