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Walk the line


Know the steps to take towards a goal if you want to reach it

Paul O'Brien

Most people fail or give up because they don’t have clearly defined goals – and a map of how to get there. Even with a powerful ‘Why’, you still need a structure that will help steer you in the direction you want to go.
Think of a straight line between A and B. A is your starting point, B represents your clearly defined goal. The straight line is the structure, the process, that you will follow to get to your goal.
Without this pre-determined structure, your path from A to B will meander constantly, a roller-coaster of ups and downs, progress and reversals. Most of us don’t hang around on this crazy journey for too long and simply give up.
Creating a clear process will help you draw the straightest line between your A and B. Here is a proven process, a mix of strategies that have been developed by leaders in the field of success and personal development.

The process
1 Evaluate and reflect
Taking time out to reflect and evaluate is a nice way to start, it most likely feeds into a goal that many of us share – creating more time to self-nurture. Take a day off, clear your schedule – no coffee with friends, no small tasks. Go to your favourite café or place in nature. Your task is to reflect on those actions over the past number of years that have led to where you are now. What worked? What didn’t work? When were you at your best? At your worst? Who did you share your most memorable experiences with? What did you learn? What five things did you accomplish that you’re most proud of? Write everything down.

2 Decide what you want
Here, make a list of everything you want to achieve in your life over the next five years. What do you want to do, learn, experience, achieve? Who do you want to share it with? Just simple one-liners will do at this point. Once you have created your list, pick out three goals you believe you can achieve in the next year.

Make your three goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Don’t worry about the other goals on your list for now. When you achieve one of your top 3, simply pick another from your list to work on.

4 Know your values
Ask yourself why these goals are important to you now. What values do they express that are important to you (success, love, family, health and so on)? Goals that are aligned with your values are far more powerful and meaningful.

5 Develop your self
Now ask yourself who you need to become to achieve what you want. This is a vital step that most people never take. It will define the mindset and characteristics you will need to develop and nourish to achieve your goals. For example, if you want to attract a life partner, you will have a list of qualities you want in that partner – caring, funny and so on. To attract someone with those qualities, who do you need to be?
6 Be accountable
This is about sharing your goals with people you trust. Ask them to hold you to account, that you want them to relate to you as the person in point 5 above. Set up a weekly chat with them to monitor progress. You also need inner accountability – integrity. Take daily action and be true to your values.

7 Let it go
This last step is about trust. If you have faithfully followed the previous steps, you need to trust that the process is in place to lead you to your goal, and you need to allow it to take you there.

Paul O’Brien is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise since 2007 and a qualified Life, Health & Nutrition Coach. He is co-owner of Republic of Fitness in Westport. He can be contacted on 086 1674515 or rofstudio@gmail.com.