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What is more important, setting goals or achieving goals? Building an emotional connection is a great strategy to stay on track.

Most people who set goals fail to achieve them. I believe this is because they are more focused on the setting of goals than the outcome they are truly after. Discovering what the feeling you are after is a fantastic strategy. Here is the process:

What are the goals you want to achieve?

The first step is to get clear on what you are after. It is important ignore how you will get it and focus on what you are after. Define it in as much detail as possible. At the beginning of 2016 my wife Karen and I did a vision board. This takes care of the “what” but misses the next steps. Check out our vision board.

Goal Achievement! Yes!

(Imagine you have already achieved your goal)

This is an important second step. It allows you to build an emotional connection to your goals or vision. good squat form, alyssa, personal trainerImagine you have achieved the goal. See yourself at the finish line, whatever that looks like for you. Sit with that feeling for a little while. Then ask yourself: what is the feeling I am after? Visualizing success isn’t quite enough. Really work to create the feeling of success inside your body. Feeling this way helps you to believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself, you are more likely to follow through on the actions that push you closer to your goal. This is the essence of the emotional connection and it acts as a secret sauce for goal achievement.

Time to break it down

positive shift personal training studioNow that you are clear on what you are after, we can start to tackle how. This is where I suggest setting short term goals, 1-3 months and breaking those down into daily actions. What are the actions that will push you closer to your goals? How can you create more of that feeling of succeeding at your goals? Stay tuned for a detailed look at SMART goals, coming soon. SMART is an acronym for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely.


Lay out your cues and reminders

A cue is a reminder to take action. If you outlined a daily action in the last step, here is where to put it. For example, if your task is to take 10000 steps each day, a good cue is a calendar notification that pops up at 5pm asking how many steps you have taken today.  You get bonus points if you can work the emotion into your cue. For example, that calendar pop up might say” “do I want to be fit enough to keep up with my grandchildren?” If yes, time to get those steps in. Cues and reminders that help to remind you of that successful emotion can really help you to take the actions required to get there. 

running, jogging stroller, personal trainer,

What do you think? Willing to give it a try? I would love to hear how it goes for you. Leave a comment or send me an email at    Start with your vision and see if you can really connect on an emotional level to your goals. Goal achievement starts with taking one action.

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