No matter what it is that you want to achieve, whether it be to become a millionaire, travel the world, build a beach body or to simply be happier, you will have to complete many steps and pass many milestones before you can claim success.
To be successful, you must manage your expectations on how much work it will take and how long it will be to achieve your dream. The likelihood is, it isn’t going to be easy, nothing worth having ever is!
Therefore, devising a sound, achievable and realistic strategy is going to be vital to your success. What are you going to need to do? Who are you going to have to involve? What level of commitment is required from you and others?
This may sound like common sense, however, all too often people rush headlong into a commitment, without creating the means and methods to be successful.
By taking the time to devise your strategy and determine what you actually need to do, you will create a positive route to follow, both on paper and in your mind. Let’s take deciding to lose weight as a dream. A significant number of people would like to do this, however, few are successful. Why?
Obviously, each person and their reason are different, however, fundamentally they committed to the goal, not the process. If they had focused on the process, they would have made progress each day.
Think of it this way, you can’t just lose weight, it is going to take weeks, months or years to get to your goal. Simply deciding and believing you can achieve the goal is not enough, you have to work on the achievement part each and every day. You have to determine what your barriers are, what is it you are doing, or what it is you are not doing that is preventing you from moving forward.
For example, if you eat too much, you’ll need to eat less. If you eat the wrong foods, you’ll have to eat the right ones. If you are sedentary, you’ll have to move more. If you do not exercise, you will need to do some. Sounds simple right? Well, actually it is. Once you know what you have to do, you have the foundations for your strategy.
So, let’s build on this principle and create a strategy. If the goal was to lose ten pounds, you will need to first work out how long you want this goal to take. A realistic timeframe is 5 – 15 weeks, therefore you have to be prepared to commit to 1 – 4 months. If you cannot do that, there’s no point in going any further.
Next you’ll need to know that it takes to actually achieve your goal. Now, on average, it takes a calorific (kcal) difference (energy in versus energy out) of 3500 kcals per week to lose one pound. This reduction can come from greater energy expenditure or by creating a calorific deficit.
If you decided you wanted to achieve your goal in about two months, this would give you a weight reduction of about one pound per week (give or take). This is both realistic and achievable. Therefore, your strategy would be as follows, ‘lose one pound per week’. Simple and concise right? Now we have to take it a step further and work on the day to day tactics that will get us there…. These are where we must focus our time, energy and commitment, as it’s the process that gets us there, not the dream.