Resolution Killer Number 2
Focusing on the goal and not the system
More often than not, I start working with a new client I am asked the following question:
“How long will this take for me to get results?”
I loathe this question because I honestly have NO IDEA how long it will take someone to start seeing or feeling different from the program I design for them. Besides the fact that every body is so completely different, I am also only seeing them two or three hours per week. What they do the other 165 hours per week will really determine when they will start noticing a change. But I cannot blame people for asking this question. We are in a result driven world with attention spans that shrink with the increase of technological advancements. We all want immediate gratification and this is no secret. But this need for immediate gratification is what can quickly kill your well-intended New Years resolution.
Almost all my clients have come to me with the goal of exercising more. This resolution in fact is the third top resolution for 2014. But this goal/resolution of “exercising more” is a set up for failure. Why? Because “exercising more” is not a system, it is a goal. So what would the system be for exercising more? This differs from person to person so lets take a typical 40-year-old male. Lets call him Stan.
Stan is 42 years old, married and has 2 kids. He works in a corporate job from 8 AM-5PM, Monday through Friday. He currently makes it to the gym about once a week during his workweek and plays golf on the weekend. Stan wants to exercise more. He wants to get to the gym 2 more times a week in the morning before work but never seems to be able to do it. Before Stan starts focusing on his system of getting to the gym more, he would need to do some self-reflection and have a self reality check (more on this tomorrow) after which he might decide that AM workouts just aren’t his thing so he is going to shoot for a lunch time work out. In order to complete a lunch time work out, Stan must make sure his gym clothes and lunch are packed when he leaves his house to in the morning and that he does not schedule any lunch meetings or other appointments on his exercise days. This means that the night before a gym day, Stan will have to pack his gym bag and make his lunch. He will also need to block out his schedule for his workouts so that meetings are not scheduled during his workout time. So instead of his resolution saying “I am going to exercise more”, his resolution will be “I will pack my gym bag and make my own lunch 3 nights a week so that everything is ready to go when I walk out the door to work in the AM”.
Systems are a much more narrow and focused target than a goal and can feel much less over whelming. And when tasks are less over whelming we are more likely to do them. Break down your resolution to the steps you need to take to accomplish it rather than the big overall picture.