Week 1: Chiseling Your Goal In Stone

Although I sing from the Banting hymn sheet, I slacked over winter.

I haven't had a six pack in the last seven years. In fact, the closest I have come to one, since then, was when I arrived on the beach after swimming 459kms from Mozambique to Madagascar, last year.

So, I'm not in shape anymore. Here is a photo of me today.



I have set a lot of goals in my life. I have failed, a lot at achieving some and have succeeded at achieving others. What I have learned from my experiences is that the likelihood of achieving a goal depends 100% on the way I set it.

Every goal I set must have three elements. They don't necessarily guarantee success but, if I omit them, I am guaranteed to fail.

I call them "The Threesome" (It is always uncomfortable, but when you get the hang of it, dreams can become a reality):

Measureable Achievable "MA"
Reality Chart
Summons

Let's dissect them.

Measurable Achievable


An MA is the toughest part to pinpoint. This is a tangible number, or result, that you can visualize, day in and day out, whilst you head towards your goal. It must be measurable, achievable and have a clear deadline.

An example of a bad goal would be to 'feel comfortable in a bikini this summer'. This is not a goal. Nothing must be left to the imagination. Ask yourself: what measurement will make you feel comfortable? Is it a certain number of centimeters off the waist, perhaps? What is your time frame? What date does summer start on?

Once you have those answers, define your goal.

On 1 December 2015, I will have a 32 inch waist.

Now, you have a date in the calendar and a number you can continuously repeat to yourself, or visualise, while you are going about your day. Notice that there is also no emotion attached to it. It is simply a destination. Think about it a lot, but don't over-think it.

Reality Chart


The reality chart breaks down your measurable achievable into bite size chunks. If you want to lose 6 inches in 12 weeks, you will need to lose an average of 0.5 inches per week. Write it down on a chart somewhere prominent so that you will be constantly reminded of your goal. The fridge is a good place to start.

You need to keep all of the data on the chart so that you can see where you have come from and where you are going. If you cannot see where you have come from, you will get despondent when you have a bad day. If you cannot see where you are going, you can easily lose sight and get distracted.

You must manage your chart like you are managing a team. Every single week, document your centimeters and write them on the sheet, and have a performance appraisal with yourself - you can do it in the mirror or in your head - that's up to you.

Summons


A summons is a document issued by the courts; it details the particulars of a claim someone has made against you. When the sheriff serves you with a summons, you have two choices: you can spend lots of money to defend yourself in court or you can do nothing, in which case, the court enforces the charge and you are forced to spend lots of money paying who ever issued the summons. You have no other option; you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The reason I chose the word 'summons' for this part of the goal, is because, for you to get your head around something you have never achieved, you will need to lock yourself in. The repercussions of not achieving your goal should be far worse than any pain you are likely to encounter while trying to achieve it.

For me and Thane, in our 459km swim, it was easy, even though the swim was tough. We had two corporate sponsors who had invested money in us; friends and family who had been told that we were going to be successful (roughly 100 people between us); and finally, we had our crew on the boat. The boat crew had no reason to be there, other than to support us. So, we found ourselves in the middle of the ocean with 100 people cheering for us from home; thousands of children depending on us for charity, that we intended to raise; and five crew members who were there for no reason, other than to support us (two of whom were even there for free).



Getting into the water every day was easy because the idea of letting down the press, the friends, the family, and the crew, who believed in us, was more painful than any amount of swimming we had to do.

We both had moments where we would rather have died than swim one more stroke (and often thought we would) but, we were so desperately locked into our goal, with all of the people we had promised everything to, that dying seemed preferable to facing everyone after failing.

The summons is the action that you take to lock yourself into a position that you cannot escape in anyway other than by achieving your goal. (You can have more than one, but they should all be written down.)

Your summons is two tiered: you need to engage people so that you cannot back out (they will expect you to fail, but that should make you stronger) and the claim needs to be scary.

The most obvious summons is a bet for something that you can't afford with someone who doesn't believe in you. I have a mate who I bet bottles of whiskey with (the score is a secret).

So, here is my goal, made up of a Measurable Achievable and a Summons (I will spare you the details of my Reality Chart).

I'm out of shape and I want to get the best out of summer this year. I want to be able to hike and run in the forest and I want a six pack. I haven't had one in years.

I currently weigh 86kg and I have a one pack.

On the Monday before Christmas 2015, I will have a six pack, with signs of an eight pack or I, and Real Meal Revolution, will refund every person who signs up for our online program between today and Christmas.

No pressure!

If you'd like to pledge your 12 week goal, sign up for our Online Banting Program, and get amongst it!
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