A few months back I read the book Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy. To be honest, this has been one of the best books I have read so far this year. I have read a number of books that talk about goal setting and the majority of them left much to be desired. But, Brian Tracy's book was extremely thorough, practical and easy to apply.
In fact, something significant just happened to me yesterday as a result of this book. On April 13 I hired Impact Nutrition to help me lose weight and to get back into shape. At that time I weighed 198lbs. I set a 3 month goal of losing 23lbs and weighing in at 175lbs. Yesterday, July 13, 3 months to the day I set the goal I weighed in at 174.5lbs for the first time since my early 20's. It took a lot of work and discipline to get to reach this goal, but the fact that I did reach it on the exact date I set out to, really got me thinking. Was it just a coincidence? Do the 12 steps Tracy gives in the book really work this well?
The 12 steps to achieve any goal:
- Have a desire: What do you really want? I was clear on what I wanted. I was easily fatigued and wasn't feeling my best. I was mentally making mistakes that were unusual for me and I knew that it was because of my physical health. I was afraid to visit the doctor because I knew what he would say and I felt ignorance was better. I needed to do something!
- Believe that your goal is achievable. I knew if I disciplined myself I could reach the goal. I knew it was possible and my trainer confirmed that it was a reasonable goal. I also knew it was going to take a lot of work.
- Write the goal down. Tracy reiterates in the book time and time again the importance of writing a goal on paper. I did write it down. In fact this is what I wrote, following his instructions of how to write a goal: "I weigh 175lbs by July 13, 2012."
- Determine your starting point. This was easy. I weighed in at 198lbs when I started. My waist size was 34" and I was desperately out of shape.
- Determine why you want it. This may have been the biggest breakthrough for me in this process. For the first time, my desire to lose weight wasn't about me. Yes, I was out of shape and yes I was tired and unhealthy, but this time I didn't want to lose weight just for me. I decided I wanted to get healthy so that I would live longer and enjoy my family. I don't want anyone else sleeping with my wife and raising my kids because I die early. It was time to aggressively take care of my health - for them!
- Set a deadline. I set the deadline of July 13 and wrote it down. A goal without a deadline is simply a fantasy.
- Identify the obstacles in your way. I knew the biggest obstacle would be myself. Could I maintain the discipline it would take to fulfill the dream? I was given a strict eating plan and was required to work-out at the gym 3x per week plus 30min of cardio every day. To say that I didn't want to cheat or wasn't tempted to give up would be a lie. Almost everyday, I was tempted in one way or another to pack it in. The reason I kept focused was because of my why.
- Determine the additional knowledge and skills you need. I knew I couldn't do this on my own. I wanted to eat right, without some fad diet plan. And I wanted to train properly. I didn't have the expertise it would take for either of these areas, so I sought the help of Impact Nutrition.
- Determine the people whose help you will need. Justin Wilson at Impact Nutrition helped me immensely. He has been amazing and everything he has taught me so far has worked just as he said it would. As well my personal trainer, Kira Sangster, has worked me hard and kept me on target in my work-outs.
- Make a plan: Put it all together. With the help of Justin and Kira we made a plan and made it work.
- Visualize your goal continually. Honestly, I never once tried to visualize a six-pack abs or a ripped physique. What I visualized when I wanted to give up was seeing my kids graduate, their weddings, enjoying my future grand-kids, and loving growing old with my wife.
- Never give up.
I would highly recommend everyone read this book! To order a copy for yourself, just click here.