A few weeks ago we sent you some strategies to help you determine goals
that are appropriate for you. We talked about delving into the following
six points to help you produce an effective plan of attack.
1. Know your values
2. Know your why
3. What didn’t work well
4. Build out your 90 Day Action Plan
5. Daily steps lead to big change
6. Assess, reflect, regulate
Today we wanted to take the next step further into this work and talk about a concept we call your “Goal Hierarchy”.
In Angela Duckworth’s “Grit” she discusses this concept.
In a goal hierarchy you have your top level goal sitting at the top. This is your “ultimate goal” or you long term goal. This is the goal that is really important to you and holds that meaning behind your why.
At the bottom of the hierarchy are our most specific and immediate goals which are our low level goals. These are the small daily tasks that appear on our “To Do List”.
In the middle of your hierarchy lies your mid level goals.
These goals stem directly off your low level daily tasks. There can be
several layers of mid level goals here. Your mid level goals give your
low level goals meaning. Why do you care about completing your low level
goals, what does it give you?
This concept is important for us to consider because a high level goal will not be achieved unless we address the building blocks below. A high level goal can at times feel like it may be so far away at the top of Mt Everest. We need to create base camp stop offs along the way and understand how our daily actions (the low level goals) are bringing us closer to our summit by ascending into our mid level layovers.
Let’s take a personal example and work backwards:
For many years, I had a goal to deadlift 150kg.
I was blessed with the birth of my daughter and my goals were put on hold for a while. However, my high level goal never wavered. The steps and time to get there just changed.
To execute this lift after I gave birth was especially important for me as it signified persistence and commitment.
For me it represented time and commitment amongst the crazy life of having a new baby (holla to all the mumma’s out there!).
It signified giving my body the nourishment it demanded to grow muscle and to continue to train.
It signified showing myself and my daughter that to be the best Mum for her it was necessary to not lose my interests and my identity. As you can see, my “why” was really special and important for me.
I had a number of low level goals that I knew needed to be achieved in order to get closer to my high level 150kg.
1. Training 4x per week
2. Completing my postural exercises
3. Eating nutrient dense food a minimum of 3x per day
4. Drinking 3L of water per day
5. Completing my trigger point release work and activation work before training
These low level goals fed right into my mid level goals.
1. Training 4x per week only mattered because of my mid level goal: to get enough training volume through my body in order to produce a positive strength adaptation needed to get stronger.
2. Completing my postural exercises only mattered because of my mid level goal: to not feel tight in my upper back from breastfeeding which allowed me to get into the right position to bench press (another necessary training exercise).
3. Eating nutrient dense food a minimum of 3x per day only mattered because of my mid level goal: to have enough energy to complete the required training to have a successful session.
4. Drinking 3L of water per day only mattered because of my mid level goal: my mind and body feels clearer and less foggy when I am adequately hydrated which means I could show up with more enthusiasm to my training sessions.
5. Completing my trigger release work and activation work before training only mattered because of my mid level goal: to appropriately release and activate my muscles meant that I had a higher chance of hitting my numbers in training.
A high level goal will have more of a chance of success if you break further into each layer:
What low level goals are required to achieve the end goal?
How does that equate to daily tasks?
What do these daily low level goals mean in the mid level sense?
Remember goal setting and goal achieving is not a “set and forget”. It is an ongoing process that takes active engagement and investment.
We hold the drive inside each of us to achieve our desired goals if they are important to us and we are honest about the work we are doing.
What are your low level goals?