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Bullet proof goal setting



Let's start with the bad news: Approximately 80% of us will have failed to keep whatever new year resolutions we may have made before the second week of February. That's according to several studies.


Here's the good news: The Praus Movement doesn't cater to the 80%. We develop men to be in the minority.


So, here's some tips to help your resolution become reality:


1 - Focus less on the goal and more on the process of achieving it



Dreaming and setting goals is fun. It brings hope to our futures and it is a really important part of our success.  But it is only the tip of the iceberg.


Take for example the most common new years resolution - to lose weight and get fit and healthy. Only a small number of men will actually achieve this goal this year. In fact, the data tells us most men who set this goal will actually end up heavier by December 31st.


Where the majority of men fall down is that they know where they want to be (healthy) but they have no idea on how to get there.


The author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, says: “Goals do not determine success. Systems determine success. You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems”. 


That is true of everything isn’t it?  Let’s say I need to lose 2 stone in weight but I have a busy life – a job, a wife and two kids to look after.  I need the systems in place to make sure I eat healthy meals instead of fast food.  If I don’t, I will keep going for a while and then give up. If I do a big batch cook on a Sunday afternoon, for example, that will feed me and my wife healthy meals for the next few days then my chances of success are higher than if I try and cook healthy meals every single day.


If you aren’t seeing good results don’t change your goal. Change the systems that cause these results. If we fix the habits, the outcomes will change themselves. 


2 -  We get frustrated because we don’t see progress fast enough. 




Do you know how many people transform their lives overnight? None! Not one.

Sometimes your progress will seem slow but keep going. Don’t make these rookie errors:


a) We wrongly conclude that small good decisions don't matter that much when results don't happen rapidly.


b) We also wrongly conclude that small bad decisions don't matter that much.


In both cases, they really, really do matter. We are the sum total of all the small decisions we make on a daily basis. Say, for example, your goal this year is to get a promotion at work and you have identified one key knowledge and skill gap that you need to get there: Leadership.


So, you resolve to start reading a great leadership book for 30 minutes a night. But after week one you realise that, actually, you still aren't a great leader. So you give up. That's what many people do because their new habits make slow progress against their big goal.


They lose sight of the compound effect of this daily discipline. That within a year, they could be thinking very differently, and that practicing the principles starts to build something special.


Your micro-decisions matter. Be aware of them.


3. You make your failures your identity 


We often connect our failures to our identity e.g. I have not spent time with my kids for a month therefore I am a bad father. Your action or inaction quickly becomes who you are (your identity).


We must not connect our mistakes, our disappointments to who we are.  Our identity, or who we perceive we are often dictates our actions. For example:







· An unhealthy identity creates unwise habits.

· Then the unwise habits reinforce an unhealthy identity. 










· A Healthy identity creates positive habits.

· Positive habits reinforce a healthy identity. 






Your identity goes much deeper than that. You are a son of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made, with a big calling and destiny. Mistakes and failures are inevitable on your journey. They are not who you are. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep climbing.


Here's to 2024. Your best year yet.

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