Action-Packed Goal-Setting

by | July 31, 2017 | Fitness

How many times have you sat down and said “alright, this is it, I’m going to lose weight if it’s the last thing I do”?

“Oh and I am also going to spend more time with my kids”

“Oh yeah, and I am going to golf more”

Well, where is the drive in those goals?

There are just empty words with no action behind them.

There is no strategy.

There is no plan of action.

There is no chance of making this shit happen.

You need a strategy and this article will outline one for you

Setting a goal

The first thing to identify when setting goals is determining what you actually want to accomplish.

What is the outcome you hope to get?

We have a great acronym for helping out with that.

We call it setting SMART goals.

Check it out:

S = specific

Don’t set goals that are vague and ambiguous. Instead, set goals that are specific. For example, I will lose 20 pounds NOT I will lose weight.

M = measurable

Quantify your goal. In the case above, 20 pounds is quantifiable and measurable.

A = adjustable

Life happens. Is there an opportunity to alter the goal if you need to.

Is there some room for flexibility?

R = realistic

Consider the trade-offs of your goal. You may have to eat less. You may have to drink less at social outings. You may have to make time to exercise more often.

What is realistic for you?

Do you need to adjust your goal because you are not willing to make some of the trade-offs?

T = timely

Put a deadline on your goal. It makes it real. Not only does it create a compelling reason to do what you need to do, it also allows you to visualize where you will be by that date.

For example, I will lose 20 pounds by January 1, 2018.

Know your why

One of my favourite guys in the personal development world is Ed Mylett. In his late 20s, Ed discovered he was predisposed to a heart condition. He had a wise doctor who wanted him to lose weight and get his heart in check by eating properly and exercising regularly. Before telling Ed anything, he asked him about his daughter, his wife and his son.

The doctor then asked Ed the following: 

So you want to be alive to walk your daughter down the aisle?

Do you want to be alive to see your son graduate high school?

Do you want another man eating breakfast in your house and sleeping in your bed because you died due to a heart condition?

The doctor had established some pretty substantial reasons why Ed would want to change. This made the process that much more compelling.

Know you reasons why you want to achieve your goal.

Do you want to lose weight so your wife sees you as a hot dad?

Do you want to get in shape so you can play hockey on the outdoor rink with your son?

Do you want to get control of your eating so you have energy to crush your days at work?

Your reasons why give fuel to the fire of your goals.

Find your reasons why.

Focus on what you can control

So, we have a goal and we have a reason why we want that goal.

Now, we can get into the guts of the goal-setting process.

The goal itself has no action tied to it. It is definitely there to motivate you and keep you accountable but it does not tell you what to do.

Also, the goal itself is an outcome. An outcome that you can not always control.

But, what can you always control?

Your actions.

And the things you do everyday.

Because achieving a goal is not about the big pie-in-the-sky goal written down in your journal.

Achieving a goal is all about the little things you do everyday, every moment that you decide to act in accordance to your goal.

We can control the actions we take every day.

We can control the behaviours that we choose to participate in.

We can choose to take the steps necessary to reach our goal.

Figure out exactly what your goal requires

Again, losing 20 pounds has no actions tied to it. You can’t control any of that shit. There are too many processes in your body that you cannot consciously do anything about.

So, choose something you can control.

In this example, losing 20 pounds would require you to eat better consistently and exercise regularly.

Break your goal down into skills

Every goal requires new skills that you need to master. The beautiful thing about this is that these skills can be learned.

You can control this.

In the case of eating better consistently, one of the most important skills is appetite and hunger awareness

Break skills down into daily action steps

The new skill you need to do develop can be broken down into daily action steps that you can work on every single day.

In the case of appetite and hunger awareness, two crucial action practices are eating slowly and eating until 80% full.

You then set these practices as your daily action steps and get to work on them for 2 weeks.

[Download a free Goals-to-Actions sheet from our friends at Precision Nutrition]

Behaviour mapping

An awesome way to master your daily actions in order to reach your goal is to create a behaviour map.

In this case, behaviours = daily action steps

Behaviour mapping asks four important questions about your action steps:  

1. What does the action step involve?

2. Why does the action step matter?

3. How will I know if I’ve done it for that day?

4. How will I know I won?

So, in the case of practice 1: eating slowly

1. What does the action step involve?

Taking 5 more minutes to eat my meals by putting my fork down between bites, breathing between bites, taking 10 chews per bite, etc.

2. Why does it matter?

Research has shown that people who eat slow eat less Calories per meal. Also, detecting fullness takes about 20 minutes. So, eating slow allows you to know whether or not you are actually full from the food you have eaten.

3. How will I know if I’ve done it for that day?

I will have eaten taken 5 minutes longer to eat each meal. I will then mark this as completed on my consistency sheet

[Download a free consistency sheet from our friends at Precision Nutrition]

4. How will I know I won?

I will have taken 5 more minutes to eat every meal for 2 weeks. Your consistency sheet will have Xs in 90% of the boxes for eating slowly.

[Download a free behaviour map]


Breaking down your goals into action steps is one of the most empowering things you can do to reach your goals.

It not only gives you a plan of action, the action steps make the outcome more manageable within the context of your life. It fits within your life without a complete overhaul.

No more setting goals and then getting overwhelmed by everything you need to do. You just play out a plan that will work and you can follow every day.

Need some help with your goal-setting?

We offer a 12 month fitness and lifestyle coaching program designed around implementing all of the skills necessary to be the lean, energized, productive father, husband and business leader you want to be.

You’ll get to discover the process of how we break down your goal into skills and your skills into action steps that you can do every day to make your goals happen.

We work closely with you to ensure accountability, support and consistency in applying what it takes to take back control of your health.

We are accepting new clients soon. Be sure to join our VIP list to save 20% on registration and to register 24 hours before everyone else.

Email to get on the VIP list.

Get on the VIP List Today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.