How to Achieve Your Goals in 2019

how to achieve your goals in 2019How do ordinary people do such extraordinary things? Rick Hoyt completed 7 ironman triathalons, the first at the age of 37 years old, while shepherding his adult son who had cerebral palsy through the swim, bike and run with adaptive equipment. Kobe Bryant, the legendary NBA player for the LA Lakers, was known for his incredible commitment and work ethic, often staying after difficult practices to take hundreds of additional shots. And in our own home state of Indiana, 24 year-old Special Olympics athlete Andrew Peterson qualified in late 2018 for the 2019 Boston Marathon, with no special accommodations.

Ordinary people…extraordinary results. What did these people have in common?

They set great goals and went after them each and every day, regardless of the sacrifices they had to make to achieve them.

Resolutions Versus goals

There is nothing wrong with making resolutions for the New Year; in fact, you really should evaluate your health, career, and relationships from 2018 and note what went well and what might need some work in 2019.

However, there is a huge difference between setting goals and making half-hearted resolutions to “get back in the gym,” or “start eating healthy,” or “get a better job.”

Want to improve your life in 2019? Awesome, we’re here to support you!
how to achieve your goals in 2019
But be wary of falling into the New Year’s Resolution Trap. You’ll start off strong in January, like everyone else. You’ll buy a gym membership, dust off the juicer that’s been sitting in the back of your pantry since last January, and start going to bed earlier. For a few weeks, you’ll think you’ve got this thing figured out. You’re committed to living your best life and you’re on track to check off every resolution on your list.

Watch out, 2019, this is YOUR YEAR!

Then February will roll around and the reality of early morning workouts before heading to the office sets in. You’re tired because Netflix finally released the next season in the series you’ve been bingeing and you HAD to stay up to see what happens next. You hit snooze a couple times on the alarm and you miss your workout. You don’t have time to make breakfast or lunch, so you skip breakfast and grab fast food for lunch. You tell yourself you’ll get to the gym after work and make something healthy for dinner.

But then 5 o’clock hits and you are beat. It’s been a long day and you haven’t eaten well so you’re over it and decide not to hit the gym. Now it’s couch and Netflix. Popcorn for dinner? Sounds great. You promise yourself you’ll get back on track tomorrow…and so begins the spiral.

This scenario is all too familiar and we’ve all been there. We’ve committed to some big, lofty resolution going into the new year only to find out that we aren’t actually prepared to make any kind of real changes last. Change isn’t easy, but it is definitely possible. Every year ordinary people make incredible changes that lead to healthier lives, more joy and new experiences. And how do they do it? Through consistent, deliberate effort.

That’s why it’s important to set goals, not resolutions. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. We are dishing out all the things you need to know about setting goals for 2019 in our comprehensive blog below,

How to Achieve Your Goals in 2019.

So you’re ready to set some goals for 2019, huh? First let us say, good for you!

Whether you’re setting health and fitness goals, or you’re ready to dial in your finances and personal life in the New Year, we are excited that you came to our blog.

When it comes to setting achievable goals, there are two important things to keep in mind. The first is the actual goal-setting process. Many people set themselves up for failure right from the start by approaching this process without much strategy.

However, at the end of the day, one thing separates those who will succeed and achieve their goal and those who won’t: commitment. And you want to know the best part? We believe you can have it. Commitment isn’t natural or inherent. It’s a mindset that is learned, practiced, and perfected.

And you are just as capable of extraordinary commitment as the professionals, athletes, and role models you admire. But more on that later…first let’s start by learning how to set some killer 2019 goals.

how to achieve your goals in 2019

1. How to set achievable goals: Be Smart

We’ve all heard of SMART goal-setting, but it’s not always easy to put into practice when your heart is set on achieving some end result that might be out of reach or too broad.

The SMART guidelines help take you from a pipeline dream to an actionable goal by giving you a checklist to use while you are writing them out. The guidelines are as follows:

A. SPECIFIC

Goals must be specific. When we set broad goals, it becomes difficult to achieve a result because there is too much ambiguity. Take this example:

Goal: I want to get better at CrossFit.
how to achieve your goals in 2019
This is a very broad goal. How do you define “better?” What does that mean? Does it mean improving your backsquat one-rep max, your Fran time, your 2k row time?

Making broad statements like, “I want to get better at,” or “I want to improve,” are good statements to get you thinking about what exactly you want to achieve. But notice the difference with this specific goal:

Goal: Achieve one unassisted pull-up.

This is a specific fitness goal. Will you be better at CrossFit if you achieve this goal? Certainly! But with this goal, I have an exact result that I am working towards and now I can figure out the exact steps I need to take to achieve it. I will need to start doing pull-ups with resistance bands and doing accessory work to develop my pulling strength, and practice, practice, practice.

If I do those things, I should be able to hit my goal of achieving one unassisted pull-up and in the process I have also gotten better at CrossFit. See how that works? Make sure your goals are specific.

B. MEASURABLE

Goals must be measurable for the same reasons they must be specific. Take the two goals above: how do we measure “better” or “improvement.” If we just use those terms, we have no way to measure whether or not we have gotten “better” or “improved.”

On the contrary, a specific goal that you can measure has zero ambiguity. You know if you’ve achieved it or not because you can measure the result. Whether that is getting one unassisted pull-up, losing 15 pounds, or eating dinner at home four nights each week, you can easily tell if you’ve accomplished your goal or not.

Additionally, measuring your results has the added benefit of keeping you focused on the goals. It fosters commitment. Remember, commitment is a mindset you can build and grow over time. The more focused you are on your goals, the more you progress. As you begin to see and measure results, your resolve strengthens and you become even more committed to achieving your goal.

C. ACHIEVABLE

This one is for all our big dreamers out there. We love you and we love that you have huge, outlandish dreams for yourself and your life. Everyone should have a dream (or we can call it a stretch goal) that motivates them to move forward.

But when it comes to setting goals, leave the big dreams in the pipeline. You need to pursue something that you can actually achieve; otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. Take this example:

Goal: Achieve 10 plyometric push-ups by June.

Is this goal unachievable? No! But if you aren’t able to do even one normal push-up from your toes in January, is it realistic to think you can achieve 10 plyometric push-ups in six months? Absolutely not! It takes a lot of time to develop that skill and strength. You may want to take a second look at your timeline.

There is nothing wrong with setting stretch goals. They are incredibly motivating. But choose something that is within reach given your starting point. Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses. And choose a goal that challenges you, but is within reach.

When it comes to setting goals, leave the big dreams in the pipeline. You need to pursue something that you can actually achieve.

D. RELEVANT

Choose a goal that is relevant to your life plan. Whether that is a career, personal or health goal, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure it gets you closer to that desired end result for your life.

For example, if I’m happy in my roles as a CrossFit coach and businessperson, it makes no sense for me to set a career goal of becoming a scientist. Unless my career plan for my life is to be a scientist, which it absolutely 100% is not in any way (thank goodness), that goal isn’t relevant to my life.

Avoid irrelevant goals. They will sit on the piece of paper where you wrote them down and writing them will be the last time you think of them.

E. TIME-BOUND

This guideline is so important. 365 days is a lot of time, but we all know it passes in the blink of an eye. If you create undefined goals, it is likely that you will either forget about your goal or fail to hit it by the year’s end. Let’s take our first example of getting one unassisted pull-up:

Goal: Achieve one unassisted pull-up

Okay so outside of not being time-bound, this is a pretty strong goal. It’s specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant.

However, it’s missing the component of time. The way it’s written currently, I can assume this is a 2019 goal, meaning it’s a yearlong goal. So if this is my goal, I might do one pull-up accessory workout a week for a few months.

Then I might fall off because I’m swamped at work and can’t make it into the gym as often. This goal starts to become less top-of-mind. Now it’s August and I still haven’t made much progress on my pull-ups. I might start working on them again, but now I only have four months and my chin is still far below that bar.

By December, I give up because I’m nowhere close to getting my pull-up. So it becomes a 2020 goal.

If I had written this goal as, “achieve an unassisted pull-up by June 30, 2019,” I would know I have six months to hit it and that would impact how much time I spend working on my pull-ups each week.

Alternatively, if it’s taking longer than I expected to develop the strength to do a pull-up, June 30th may roll around and I may not hit my goal. But then I can readjust my timeline and push it to the end of the year. Now I will be able to hit the gym hard for the next six months and hopefully achieve my goal.

How to Set Time-Bound Goals

how to achieve your goals in 2019

One of our favorite goal-setting strategies is to divide our goals into quarterly, bi-annual, and annual goals.

Quarterly goals are typically easier to achieve. They keep you motivated because they stay top of mind and you can frequently check them off your list and have a sense of achievement throughout the year.

Bi-annual goals are usually more challenging than quarterly goals. Sometimes they are subsets of a larger year-long goal. Oftentimes, financial goals work nicely in this timeframe. That way, you can evaluate your success mid-year and adjust a year-end financial goal if need be to make sure you hit it over the next six months.

Annual goals are typically your loftiest goals, and while it’s good for goals to be specific, these might lean on the broader side. Maybe you’re trying to buy a house in 2019. This is a big goal, and it’s one that you will be working towards all year!

Moral of the story: make sure you are setting your goals with defined timelines so that you have a strategy in place for how to achieve them.

2. How to Achieve Your Goals: Be Committed

So now that you’ve set your goals, it’s time to start achieving them.

Goal setting and goal achievement are two very different things. While it is important to make sure that you set yourself up for success by setting SMART goals, at the end of the day, your commitment to achieving those goals is what determines your success.

On December 31, we are all super motivated to make 2019 a great year. We make plans to become healthier, more financially stable, to travel more, and experience new things. And the same rings true for January. Our goals are fresh and they are still exciting. Additionally, we haven’t had much time yet to fail.

But come mid-February, according to US News, approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Why is that?

First, we would want to look at the resolution itself…if it doesn’t hit our SMART goal guidelines, then it was likely to fail from the start. But if it was a well-written goal, how can it fail so quickly?

Ultimately, it comes down to this: you can set the greatest goals in the world but if you aren’t committed to seeing them through, you will fail.

Because here is the truth: nothing in this life is handed to you. You have to show up if you want to achieve success. And life is going to get in the way.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: you can set the greatest goals in the world but if you aren’t committed to seeing them through, you will fail.

Did you set a fitness goal? If you want to achieve it, you need to show up in the gym. You need to show up with your diet and nutrition. You aren’t going to get fit if you’re skipping workouts, eating junk, and drinking every weekend.

Did you set a financial goal? If you want to achieve it, you need to be disciplined with your spending. You can’t be frivolous with your budget and expect to save money.

Did you set a career goal? If you want to achieve it, you need to show up at work. You have to push past early mornings and late evenings and stressful deadlines. Is it hard? You bet! But the people who want to advance in their career are going to keep moving forward despite the obstacles.

You can call it tough love, but we just call it truth. There will always be obstacles in your life. You will always experience setbacks and failure.

What separates the people who succeed and those who fail is commitment.

So as we leave 2018 in the past and venture into the New Year, we want to encourage you to set SMART goals for yourself and then relentlessly pursue them.

Don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. Don’t let obstacles deter you from achieving your goal. This year CAN be your year if you’re willing to work for it.

And the best part is we are here to support you on your journey to becoming the healthiest, strongest, most successful version of yourself. That’s our mission- to build a community of balanced, healthy, and happy individuals.

Check back on the ISN blog next week for our top strategies for getting healthy in 2019! Happy New Year!