How to be a goal getter

Setting yourself an ambitious, achievable goal is only half the equation – you have to know how to hit it as well. Here’s what works.
Published 4 November 2015

How to be a goal getter


So, you’ve set yourself a goal. Great! But have you worked out the steps to get there and set yourself a timeline, too? The fact is, regardless of whether your goal is about weight loss, fitness or otherwise, working towards it without a plan in place or with an open-ended deadline, won’t help you stay accountable to your good intentions. Here’s how to keep yourself on track, so that you achieve any and every goal you’ve got in mind.


1. Establish a clear date

The first thing to do is decide on a deadline. Maybe you want to lose 5kg by a wedding or reunion, for instance (just keep in mind that with Weight Watchers, you can expect to lose up to 1 kg per week). Or you can link your goal to a fitness event you plan to participate in, such as a 5km walk or run. If you don’t have any existing ‘built-in’ deadlines, now’s the time to think of one (even if it’s as basic as reaching a certain weight by the start of the next season).


2. Get a calendar. And use it to set clear reminders

Make your goals ‘visual’. Use colour coding or fun stickers on your calendar, to mark milestones or mini-deadlines along the way. Hang the calendar on a wall in a spot where you’ll see it often, like in the kitchen or by the front door, or place it prominently on your desk. Prefer digital reminders? Build them into your smartphone’s calendar or set up reminders in your computer calendar at work. And diarise any daily tasks that will help you reach your goal, too. That way, at the end of each day, you can have the satisfaction of crossing them off!


3. Surround yourself with encouragement

Tell the important people in your life that you’re making a change for the better. Let them know how they can keep you on track with positive words and reassurances when you hit bumps in the road.


4. Reward yourself

Every step you take in the right direction, whether that’s going for a training run or making a smart food choice in a tempting situation, should be acknowledged. Don’t forget to celebrate more ‘official’ milestones as well, like reaching your 10% weight-loss goal. Take a tip from pre-schoolers everywhere and set up a sticker chart, awarding yourself a gold star for even the simplest victories and achievements. It also doesn’t hurt to have a clear reward in mind when you reach your goal, even if it’s tied to the goal itself (such as fitting into a smaller clothing size: you can splurge on a new outfit).


5. Know how to regroup, after a rough patch

The best way to make sure a bump in the road doesn’t turn into a huge detour is to arm yourself with coping strategies ahead of time. Read up on how to handle a gain and how to recover from occasions where you might overeat.