For several years I’ve been trying to get healthy. Doing so proved to be one of my toughest goals. Years of workaholism and semi-regular travel had taken its tole. I found myself 30 lbs. overweight and struggling to keep up with my kids during basic yard games. My mental focus had deteriorated. I struggled to find motivation to eat, sleep and exercise well.
For 4 years I set fitness goals and for 4 years I came up short. I embraced a few new strategies in 2019 and have finally made significant progress. In 4 months I’ve dropped 23 lbs, exceeding my goal of losing 15lbs in the first half of the year. Upon reflection, the 4 strategies I deployed to get there are applicable to achieving all of the toughest goals.
4 strategies for achieving the toughest goals
Narrow your focus.
It is difficult to accomplish your toughest goals when you are striving to accomplish too many at once. Be selective if you want to succeed. For years I set 10 goals per year and accomplished 6 or 7. Of course, my fitness goals, which were not nearly as exciting as the others, were the first to go. This year I set 6 and I’m on track to meet every single one. The less you try to accomplish, the more effort you’re able to put on the toughest goals.
Embrace the prerequisites
When you’re short on sleep it is difficult to work out consistently. Your body simply doesn’t have the energy to exercise. For years I tried to work out consistently on a sleep-deprived body. I spent 6 months revamping my sleep schedule and a month cleaning my eating habits before my body began to respond well to exercise. The more deliberate you are putting the building blocks for success in place, the more successful you will be.
Find your motivation
It’s really hard to accomplish tough goals if you lack intrinsic motivation. The reality was I knew I should get in shape, but, I wasn’t very excited about doing so. I tried everything from working out at home to getting a personal trainer but regardless simply couldn’t get excited about exercise. It wasn’t a LifeTime Fitness opened 10 minutes from my home that I got excited about working out (that place isn’t a gym, it’s an experience)! Instead of willing yourself to success, dig deep and find the motivation that gets you intrinsically motivated.
Recruit meaningful accountability
For years I looked to my friends for accountability. They checked in periodically but did little to actually hold me accountable. As a result, I tried something totally different his year. I enrolled the help of those motivated to make a difference. First, I made sure that Cheryl, my EA, knew how important my wellness was to me. Given that she manages all of my priories, her assistance was able to ensure that my sleep and workouts weren’t the first to go. Similarly, I have 3 friends with similar fitness goals. Instead of just asking each other for help, we made a significant bet that has proven to be motivating.
The toughest goals in business require smart strategies as well
Stepping back, these four strategies work on the toughest goals regardless of whether they are fitness or business goals. Whether you want to sell more, be more productive or get into shape, consider what you can do in order to narrow your focus, embrace the prerequisites, find your motivation and recruit meaningful accountability.