Three questions for setting better goals

We hear the stories of sudden enlightenment frequently. People come to us and say, today is the day my life changes. From today I’ll be not eating outside food, not indulge in stress, exercise daily, meditation will start regularly and what not.

The problem is not with this sudden realisation that I need to make changes and today is the day I commit to those changes.

This is going to happen a lot on 1st of January, lot of people make resolutions and fail. I am not against failure. I fail many times but with experience and education, I’ve changed the odds in my favour.

The real problem (almost all of us face) is not being aware when we started getting off track, lost sense of our priorities in life.For me it is essential to know past behaviours of people, so when I start seeing the lapses in desired behaviour, I can pull my clients back on track.

To understand the triggers of behaviour, we ask following questions:

  • When did it become okay for you to ignore you goal (that could be health/finance/career/relationship)?
  • What is taking you away from your goal?
  • What are you going to sacrifice?

The first one

When did it become okay for you to ignore your health?

The answer normally to this question is some life event which changed their healthy habits (kids, marriage, job change, relocation, festival, achieving weight goal etc. are common events).

The other lot (most of the people) have just gone with the flow of life and never thought we are losing health slowly. We don’t do daily maintenance if the machine is working fine.

If you are looking to start health journey, I would strongly suggest you to ask this question. This will help you become vigilant of events which will get you off track.

The second one

What is taking you away from healthy living (in past 1-2 months)?

The answer to this one mostly is – I don’t have time for doing XYZ or I don’t know how to do XYZ.

If you know the challenges or the troublemakers, it becomes easier to overcome them. If you know your enemies, it’s easier to win battle.

The third one

What are you going to sacrifice?

This one is tricky one and most of the people don’t know what I mean. The reason for this question is to understand how they are going to utilise their time.

For example, if you are going to set a goal to start going to gym for one hour everyday. For you to do that you have to sacrifice some other activity like sleep, family time, business time etc. You are not miraculously going to get 25 hours in a day because you want to add 1 hour of new behaviour (exercising).

Another example would be, I will stop my 3 times a week (alcohol) drinking habit. That’s a great idea and your health will thank you for that but have you thought what will you do with the extra time you will get? If you don’t have any activities planned, the boredom will attract you to old behaviours.

As said earlier, in the moment of initial energy outburst we set goals which are not well thought of. Awareness is first step for change. If you are aware of your own shortcomings and temptations, you will be able to set better resolutions. You will be able to come back on track as soon as you start seeing possible traps.

Mrugank Patel