The week before last I had a couple of clients reschedule their sessions at the last minute, leaving me with the rest of the day free.

Now normally I’d tell myself that I could rest and see my family at the weekend, but the sun was shining, things had been pretty manic and I hadn’t been around to help my wife with our new little bundle as much as I’d like, so we jumped in the car and went on a day trip to Whitstable.

We had a great day, spent some proper quality time together, and I really stepped out of “work-mode” and got into a different headspace.

Archie’s favourite activity of the day was skimming pebbles from the beach out to sea (or flinging rocks around without getting told off), something he insisted I join in on.

The thing is, the water was way too choppy and we were a bit high above the water to really get a good skimmer, so after a few minutes I found my attention wavering. Now if you’ve got kids you’ll understand what I mean here – Archie would have happily continued chucking pebbles around until Whitstable could no longer lay claim to having a beach!

Lucky for me then I had a strategy to keep me interested.

An old groyne.

No I haven’t misspelt it, I mean…

“The structure built from an ocean shore that interrupts water flow and limits the movement of sediment. It is usually made out of wood or concrete.”

…at least that’s what I think it was. A lone piece of timber standing on it’s own in the water.

So I switched my focus from skimming, to trying to hit this post. And before I knew it, half an hour had passed while I was seeing how many times I could hit the post.

—9 times if you’re interested – in my defence it was a LONG way away—

Honest.

It wasn’t until we were driving back into London and my mind drifted back to work matters, that I was reminded of a recent client consultation. The client in question – we will call her Shania, because that’s fun to say – didn’t have a problem with motivating herself, she was exercising 4-5 times a week and eating well…but she wasn’t getting results, and that was leaving her disillusioned and frustrated.

So do you want to know where Shania was going wrong?

No focus. No clear goal. No carrot to dangle.

Just like me aimlessly flinging trajectories into the ocean. Not very rewarding or engaging…until I gave myself a target, something to aim for.

So we discussed potential goals and the emotional attachments to those, and I like to think Shania and I had what you might call a breakthrough moment.

Once we’d decided on a clear, measurable goal then everything fell into place and her mood changed immediately. All of a sudden she couldn’t wait for her next exercise session, to tweak her training and nutrition to make sure they were pointing her in this now very specific direction.

Are you 100% clear on your goals?

“To lose weight” isn’t a clear goal, that’s a wishy-washy quick response, leaving room for compromise and ultimately failure.

BUT beneath that there is a motivating factor. And unless you’re clear with yourself about what you’re looking to achieve then how will you know what to aim for, or if you’re getting anywhere?!

So sit down and figure out what your goal is.

“I’d like to run the marathon” should become “I want to run the Boston Marathon in 2016 in a time of 3:30″

“I want to lose weight and tone up” should become “I want to fit back in my favourite black skinny jeans”

You know the ones, lurking in the back of the cupboard, taunting you every time you reach for the “relaxed fit” instead.

So this weekend, right this second if possible, sit down and figure out what you want to achieve before Christmas, then write it down, and get started.

This stuff doesn’t just work for health and fitness-related goals, but for every aspect of your life. Maybe you want to wrap up a project at work or land a new piece of work. Maybe you need to start budgeting for you-know-what and all those presents.

Whatever it is, make sure you ask yourself the difficult, uncomfortable questions and get to the root of it. Don’t leave any wriggle room, and then WRITE IT DOWN.

My goal for Christmas is to get the Greenwich Training Studio open for business. So watch this space!

If your goals are health and fitness related, and you reckon you could use some advice and guidance, then hit the link below and apply for a FREE Transformation Session with me.

>>>http://greenwichtraining.formstack.com/forms/free_consultation_booking__copy<<<

Or if you reckon you can tackle this solo, then at least let me know how you get on!

Now go forth, have amazing weekends, oh and COME ON ENGLAND!

Ian “Groyne-Spotter” Male