Our society is hellbent on setting and achieving goals, no matter what the cost. Companies set aggressive quarterly and annual goals, every January millions of people commit to getting fit as their goal, and we as individuals set performance goals to get a raise or promotion at work every year.
Yes, goal setting is very powerful, even necessary to getting big things done, but setting targets isn’t exactly the same as creating a life you truly desire. In fitness and health, we’re so focused on goals and resolutions, that we lose the essence of what we’re truly after, which goes beyond a number on the scale.
In the spirit of a New Year and new beginnings, I’ve created another framework for goal-setting: C.A.M.I. Unlike your typical rigid format of goal-setting, C.A.M.I. guides you to think bigger picture, set goals within the context of how want to feel, and help you get out of your own way so you can accomplish it all.
C.A.M.I. for Vision Setting
As a trainer, I hear a lot of goals like “I want to look good in my wedding dress in 10 months” or “I want to lose the baby weight”, or “Drop 10 lbs!” These are good goals because they are specific, measurable, and usually come with a timeframe of completion.
What they lack however, is connection to our deepest desires. SMART goals can get us from point A to point B but without context, you may very well get there and still feel unsatisfied. This is where we get goal setting all wrong. We focus on the end goal rather than the entire big picture. This is why I redesigned goal-setting for myself. I needed a new framework for myself and my clients to give goals a deeper, soulful meaning.
Here’s the breakdown.
C- Clarity of Vision
Have you ever set a goal for yourself only to feel completely dissatisfied after accomplishing it?
It’s happened to me countless times, and it’s likely because I was missing a clearly defined vision to go along with my goal. We often settle on arbitrary fitness and health goals without looking at the true meaning of what we want: context, desired feelings, the person we’re trying to become.
To avoid that empty feeling after accomplishing your goals, try looking at your goal from the context of a life vision. In other words, how do you want to feel overall once this goal is accomplished? How will it change your life for the better?
For example, if you want to compete in your first powerlifting meet this year, think through the why behind it and let that guide your vision. Things like “I want to feel strong and capable in my body” or “I want to inspire my kids to push themselves by doing something difficult and new to me” are vision-based. They inspire how you want to feel or be seen by others within the context of the “compete in powerlifting” goal. Defining a clear vision doesn’t have to be grandiose or even specific. It simply has to reflect what you truly desire to feel.
A – Assets and Accountability
If you’re constantly searching for the right program, training plan, or diet you’ve already lost.
Half of the people that come to me asking for a workout plan already know what they have to do:
- Train smart
- Eat healthy 90% of the time
- Get sleep
- Lift some weights
So why are they out there struggling to follow the most basic workout programs?
It’s because they don’t need anything new, they need to take advantage of their current assets and set up some support and accountability. Here are some examples of assets you may already have at your fingertips:
- A gym membership you’re not utilizing to its fullest capacity
- Gym equipment at home
- A free 6-week guide like THIS to get you started
- YouTube videos
- The super fit friend that’s always inviting you to workout with her
- Your company’s free gym
- Blogs like this one that teach you things about fitness and health
Are you taking full advantage of the assets you currently have?
If not, then quit looking for the next new thing and let’s face the cold, hard facts. You need accountability, not another program. This is why having a training partner, hiring a coach, paying for the classes, getting an online trainer, or completing the online course is so valuable. It’s part resource and part accountability built into one!
There’s no shame in getting help and having someone push you to meet your objectives. We all need it, including me. I often look to other coaches for help when I need extra support, and look to utilize all the resources I have at my disposal before I hunt down the next, new shiny thing.
You can accomplish big goals and have massive breakthroughs with a fixed or negative mindset just like you can with a positive mindset. This isn’t the issue here.
The real issue is if you’re training your mindset in the pursuit of your goals and vision. As someone who has studied and done a ton of internal mindset work herself, I can assure you that your mental training is just as important as your physical training. We all have mental blocks that keep us from reaching our potential or achieving a certain vision, and until you work on them you’ll always feel dissatisfied.
I’ve worked with clients that talk down about themselves when they have a crappy workout, or call their bodies “gross” even though they’re getting stronger and staying consistent with their workouts. If you feel unworthy of success, you won’t be successful. If you perceive your body to be the enemy, then exercise and nutrition will always be a point of frustration for you regardless of how you look. If you think it’s you versus the world, then everything you do will always feel like an uphill battle!
Train your mindset with the same vigor that you train your body. Some ideas include:
- Meditate and journal daily
- Seek out a therapist
- Read and apply personal development books
- Attend a seminar, buy courses, hire a coach
- Listen to inspiring and motivational podcasts
- Use affirmations and visualization techniques
- Read blogs like THIS, THIS, and THIS ONE to help you
If you think you can accomplish your life’s vision by yourself you’ve already failed. Greatness is not achieved all by your lonesome, although there is a huge part of self-motivation, discipline, effort, and desire that must go into it. However, consider all the people that help, inspire, motivate, or teach you along the way.
I used to think that I was all alone in this world, and that anything I wanted would be a hard, lonely road (yup, I had a negative, fixed mindset). But as I trained my mindset along with my body, I found new friends to uplift me, I started purchasing books to uplevel myself, and then I started to invest big money into mentorships, seminars, courses, and even trainers to help propel me forward, faster.
If up until this point you’ve been doing everything alone, I encourage you to start investing in trainers, coaches, courses, books, and anything else that will help you achieve your goals. It’s not a waste of money unless you never apply what you’ve learned.