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Reverse Engineer your Goals


"Our lives are like rose bushes. As a rose bush grows, it creates more buds than it can sustain. If you talk to an experienced gardener, they will tell you that rose bushes need to be pruned to bring out the best in both their appearance and their performance. In other words, if you want a rose bush to thrive, then you need to cut away some of the good buds so the great ones can fully blossom." ~James Clear

Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay. Rarely do people understand that the outcome is based on having a process, but if you dislike the process then you will likely burn out or never achieve your goal.

I have worked with hundreds of people and spent many years trying to help clients achieve their goals. The system I have used to assist with goal achievement has positively evolved over 10 years. I use to use the old traditional goal setting approach asking questions such as :

"What is the problem or issue you are currently facing?" 


"Why do you want to hire a professional to help you? "

In hindsight this was a great stepping stone, but eventually I realized it was only the start of a larger more in depth approach. Initially these questions started the conversation, however I soon found It held people back with only discussing the outcome they wanted and NOT considering the process. 

Sure, having a flat stomach and 6 pack abs sounds outstanding, but are you willing to take a hard look at your nutrition by food logging and and learn how to cook at home for next several months? Will committing 30 minutes a day towards food logging and tracking work for you? Where does that 30 minutes come from? What if you are you normally glued to the television or scrolling on social media? Do you know how to use a frying pan or will you need to invest in an airfare machine? What are some of your favorite recipes you like to cook? Do you know how to prepare ground turkey or sauté onions in a pan? These are things you would need to consider if you are looking to lose fat and see muscle definition. 

The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. It's easy to have desires and wishes, but people often forget what is needed on a daily basis to achieve those outcomes. That is why my newly updated process of goal setting with clients involves much more discussion about their processes they will need to create in order to be successful. We discuss roadblocks or obstacles that might come up. We talk about things they may need to let go of or stop doing in order to work towards a new behavior. We get deep in the weeds about what they are not willing to do and come to grips with whether or not they really are able, ready and willing to take action on their goals. 

For reference here are some sample questions that I have designed for clients:

  • What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make in order to lose 30 pounds? 
  • Are you willing to throw away the food in your pantry and stock it with new or different foods?
  • What is painful about not making changes in your life?
  • Do you like the idea of getting up at 6am everyday to go walking even if it is still dark and cold outside? 
  • Can you imagine a conversation where you had to tell a co-worker that you need to leave on time today or that you won’t be able to work late like last time?
  • Can you afford an additional $30/month to work towards your goal?
  • What would life be like if you didn’t squat 450 pounds with a barbell?

The above is just a tiny sample of how I help people focus less on the outcome they desire and redirect them towards the process.  While It is hard to imagine wanting the sometimes boring and perhaps not so fun process that comes with setting goals, it is in fact the process that separates the successful people from those who are just full of wishful thinking. 

So the next time you are thinking about wanting to improve your backhand in tennis, lose weight, make more money, get 10 bodyweight pull-ups, or have a better sex life think more about the daily actions you would need to take to make those things happen.  Better yet, consider what you might need to give up in order to make room for this new thing that you seek. 

And if you decide you might need help reach out the team at ROOTED in MVMNT.


Coach Paige

Movement Specialist: Strength Coach & Massage Therapist

P.S. Want more help?

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