Goal Setting - Create Your Roadmap

Let’s be straight from the beginning…

We typically suck at setting goals for ourselves. Chances are you didn’t expect that to be the opening sentence in a blog about goal setting, did you? I didn’t either, but as I sit here writing I can’t help but feel that we do.

You are probably reading this wherever you are wondering what I mean by “we suck.” Good question!

We suck at setting goals for ourselves because we tend to shoot so high that they might not be realistic, and if they aren’t realistic, we put ourselves in a situation where we aren’t reminded of the successes we experience along our journey. That’s where having a good process for setting goals comes in hand.

What’s a good process? Read on for our three step process towards setting achievable goals, and feeling like a boss along the way. 

Step 1: The Big Kahuna

The logical first step is to figure out what your big goal is. Ideally, this is something that takes time and hard work to accomplish. Maybe that means you’ll be there in 6 months, or that it will take a year or more. Either way, we are talking about an achievement outside of the next month or two.

Your big goal should be realistic, and achievable. Why? Because setting something that’s unrealistic simply leads us down a road riddled with a consistent feeling of failure. Do you remember the last time you were excited about feeling like you failed? Yea…me neither.

Take some quality time to truly brainstorm what it is that you want to accomplish. Once you have an idea, double check to make sure it is realistic – set that ego aside as you do. If you’re a coach helping someone through this process, you should take the time to do the same. It’s ok to say, “we need to reevaluate.”

Step 2: Create Your Roadmap

Big goals are cool, but little goals are cooler (that’s right, I used cooler).

So you’ve established your Big Kahuna, but what’s next? As a coach, I’ve always encouraged creating a series of ‘pit-stops’ along the path to your big goal that remind you that you’re headed in the right direction. That big goal can seem daunting at times when things are slow, and having those little reminders can be insanely reassuring.

What does that look like? Well, maybe your Big Kahuna is to lose 50lbs within the next year – awesome! Now let’s set some tiny goals along the way. This could be something like losing 10lbs in the first 3 months. Then we can set another goal to lose a total of 20lbs by the 6 month mark! Do you see where I’m going with this?

Much like a cross-country road trip, the time spent getting from Point A to Point B is a lot more fun when you have some sites to see along the way.

Step 3: The Big Kahuna to Your Big Kahuna

You’re conquering your roadmap to your ultimate goal like you conquered $1 tacos on Tuesday, but now what? We don’t want to reach our destination and call it quits, so it’s time to start considering what the next big goal is. Goals on goals is always the goal (so much goal in one sentence).

A lot of times we have this idea of where we want to be, but once we get there we have no idea what’s next. That’s why planning for the next step ahead of time is so important. You created a roadmap right (if you didn’t, go make one silly)? Once you start to notice that you’re the majority of the way through your roadmap, start mapping out the next one.

Having another goal to shoot for keeps the progress rolling in the right direction after you reached the podium. Let’s be honest, how happy would you be if you got to where you’ve always wanted to go, said “screw it,” and just reverted back to the beginning without passing Go and collecting $200? Just like playing Monopoly, it sucks, so let’s stay away from falling into that trap by having a plan.

Getting Stuck – Change Your Tire

Have you ever been driving and popped a tire? What did you do? You probably got out of your car, cussed a few dozen times, swapped the tire out and moved along your way. Eventually the frustration settled and life moved on.

Much like popping a tire, hitting some “bumps in the road” is totally ok. It’s human nature to be frustrated from time to time or run into a plateau for a little while. The difference is what you do when those situations arise. At Xplore, we like to refer to the acronym S.T.O.P. when this happens.

S – stop what you’re doing for second.

T – take a little time to yourself to look around.

O – observe and recognize what is going on that’s causing the issue.

P – process the problem, and make a game plan on how to fix it (change the tire).

In the End… 

Setting well thought out goals that are achievable, have a few pit stops, and a mindset set on the future is an excellent way to get to where you want to go. Learning how to change a tire or call on a friend in tough times (the proverbial tow truck) can make sure your trip doesn’t get derailed along the way.

Hopefully you’re reading this with a goal floating around in the back of your mind – now go get em. 

This blog was created by Xplore Nutrition founder & coach, Sam Karoll.