If you follow these six steps and still don’t achieve your goals it's because you’re either underestimating what you need to get there or you’re trying to cut corners. The EASIER method doesn’t make the journey foolproof but it does make it easier to understand the process toward goal attainment. As I’ve said in the past “Decide WHAT you want to achieve then use your WHY to fuel the actions required to achieve your goals.”
That brings us to our first step:
E - Extract your "WHY"
Without your why you’re like a brand new car without fuel trying to get to drive a cross country event. Your why is the required fuel to get you started and keep you going. The why is your reminder of your greater purpose and the reason you’re doing the hard yards.
Your partner comments on your weight and has stated that they are concerned about your health and how it will impact your futures together. From that moment you make a vow to your partner, “I’m going to lose 15kg, for you, me and our family!”
As a personal trainer, my job is to extract the true why from this example then help the client turn this why into fuel which will help them travel to their goal destination.
First, find out what the reason is for the desired 15kg weight loss goal. Digger deeper into this example, we discover the symbolism of the 15kg is when the couple originally got married the client was 15kg lighter and was a lot more confident in their body image.
Second, you need to figure out what's happened between the wedding and now. The client shares this: “I’ve been promoted at work a couple of times which has meant a lot of work lunches and 4 months ago my wife fell pregnant.” From this, we have figured out 80% of our why our client wants to lose 15kg because they feel they will be as confident as they were back when they originally got married.
The final 20% is the hardest and most important part to extract, I usually ask just one question: “So if you don’t change anything and you were to be in the same position you’re in now in a years time, how would you feel?” This stage is when people give the true 110% why, and only at this stage can they value the importance of change. The response based on this example would normally be something like: “I would feel terrible because I still wouldn’t be able to be proud of my body in front of my wife, I wouldn’t have enough energy to play with my newborn and I’d be miserable because of it!”
So the extracted WHY is - The client wants to have the energy to look after their newborn child and they want to feel confident in their own body in front of their wife.
A - Accountabili'buddy'
Step two, accountability!
In this step, the main thing you need is an honest unbiased friend/partner/trainer to tell you the truth. In addition, their role is to remind you of your own truths and your why.
You have to tell your accountabilibuddy everything that you extracted about your why, every little feeling you had during the process. This can be daunting but it’s extremely important as they will be the person or people who you can lean on if times get tough to remind you of why you decided to make a change in the first place.
As the buddy in the situation, you play an integral role because if you’re too soft they will become complacent and go off track but if you are too hard on them then they will avoid you and lose their accountabilibuddy, so it does take someone special. That’s why a lot of people lean on external people in their lives like a personal trainer because it's sometimes easier to hear the hard facts from someone who isn’t saying anything based on emotion. As a personal trainer, it is important to remember to stick to the facts and not to get too emotional yourself, as that will push your client away.
S - Scaffold your goals
Scaffolding your goals is the next step.
When you’re setting goals it’s crucial you stick to the basic SMART goals principle.
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable/Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
I strongly recommend this stage is done with a fitness professional or someone with health & fitness knowledge as they will be the most educated on if your goal is “attainable/achievable & realistic”.
I - “I” statements
This stage is all about owning it, “I went to the gym 5x this week” or “I ate a family-size block of chocolate”. No matter if it’s a good or bad action that is contributing to your end goal it's crucial you own it. Own it to yourself, to your accountabilibuddy and to anyone who knows what you’re doing, because this is the only way you won’t fall back into old habits.
E - Environmental success
I think we all know those bad influences in our lives, whether that be a person, place or thing. Whatever it is holding you back from achieving your goal, it's time for it to change!
Take a second to reflect back on your why, and think about what that person was doing before they decided to make a change.
What were the good things that you’re still doing?
What were the negative things that you needed to change?
What are the common excuses you find yourself using when it comes to making more positive changes?
Based on these answers you’ll start to create a pretty clear picture of how big of an impact environmental factors on your goals. With that information, you can start to make the necessary changes to create your successful environment.
Vision boards, chore boards, diaries, calendars and to-do lists. I’m sure you’ve heard or used one of these things in the past and if you haven’t that doesn’t matter because you’re about to.
In this last stage of your journey, you’re going to create what I call either a ritual board if its a personal goal or an ideal week if it’s a business goal.
In all the other stages it was about setting up the platform for you to achieve your goals but this one is more so about maintaining that platform to ensure you don’t fall back into bad habits so you can keep excelling.
What do you need to make a part of your daily or weekly lifestyle to allow you to live the life you wish to lead?
That's what a ritual board is all about.
If you want to run a marathon, you need to run regularly.
If you want to be 10% body fat your need to eat correctly and train consistently.
If you want to be a good parent/partner/friend you need to make time for people regularly.
If you want to save up for an around the world holiday you need to put aside some money every week.
I think you get where I’m coming from, whatever you want to do or achieve starts with the finer details, the rituals and habits of your daily routine. Setting up your ritual board needs to reflect your SMART goals that you set earlier, reflect back on them then right down the simple actions you need to do.
This is an extremely simple and effective tool!
This is more targeted at small business owners to help keep them accountable. I’ll share an example from my own personal training business.
Now I know a 5 am - 6 pm day is not always realistic for a business owner but this is just a simple example to show that routines and rituals are paramount to success. The reason for this is it creates consistency and as we all know consistency builds credibility in business.
The purpose of an ideal week is to make your week suit you and it gives you that crystal clear vision of what you need to work towards next. In addition, make sure you make time for you, if you’re not trying to be better every single day then you will get left behind because the world is evolving so quickly that you must grow at the same pace, that's why I always make time for personal development.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is if you want to make it EASIER you now know this method to follow to ensure you stay on the right path.
Written by Jordan Smith
who a veteran PT, Club Manager at Fitness First, Mentor and Coach.