In all areas of life we need to set goals. Work, life, relationship, fitness, and school are a few areas that can use goal setting. But what are goals? How do we set them up for success? What is a good approach to setting them??
Let’s be honest about goals, though. If your reason to come to the box is to have fun and get a sweat in…that’s cool…I’m down with that, but there could even be a goal within that. Maybe you only come to our gym twice a week — we could then set a goal to come in three times a week! There is always something to make progress at!
Defining the word “goal” will help us with an understanding of how to tackle it. The Oxford Dictionary defines a goal as “The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”
What do I want to achieve? What am I putting all this effort in for?
I would have to say that the two biggest downfalls I see in goal setting are:
1) Setting unrealistic goals
2) Being impatient and not following the plan until the end.
Anyone can write anything on a piece of paper and call it a goal. Without a realistic and honest approach you might as well write it down on paper and throw it in the fire! Let’s talk about approaching the goals in a step-by-step process:
1) It must be specific! I will use the following goal through each example and show you how to make it a better, more success driven goal. “I’m going to lose 50lbs in a month.” This is a vague goal with an unrealistic time frame. From this one vague goal I can make 3 specific goals:
a. I’m going to eat clean 6 out of 7 days.
b. I’m going to go to HCF 4 days a week.
c. I’m going to have an accountability partner (to be discussed later)
Now that is starting to look more like a successful plan!
2) There must be short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. This is crucial to success. You must see progress to stay motivated. Depending on the length of time that you have set for yourself the 3/6/9 approach seems to work very well. It can be 3/6/9 weeks. It can be 3/6/9 months culminating with a year goal. It can be a combo of these. We have stated we are going to eat clean 6 out of 7 days. This is a good weekly goal with a built-in cheat. You can use this to survive the holiday season, which we will say is three months long. With the cheat day you can put that in any day of the week. If you know you are going to go BIG on Thanksgiving with the family, then use that as the cheat day. So you have a weekly goal that you will meet for three months. You have a weekly gym goal to make for the next three months.
3) Accountability is very important to keeping a goal. Yes, I stated this goal is for you, but having a person or a gym full of people you can talk to and lean on for help in the hard times is always good. If someone else has a similar goal it is best to team up with them. Two people working together are a great recipe for success.
4) Re-evaluate every month or two. Let’s say you are cruising along with your goals and BAM, the flu hits, and hits hard. After the two weeks you will loose from being in bed and trying to recover, there will be a readdressing of the goals. When you’re sick you need to do what you can to just get better. Your diet might have changed; you might not workout for a while. This is OK, life happens. Just look at the time frame and make a little adjustment.
5) Journal, JOURNAL, JOURNAL. There is a reason we have benchmark Wednesday! The more detailed the notes the better chance of success. How did you eat that day, how do you feel, how much sleep, are you dehydrated? All these things come into play with a workout and how you feel. My journal is pretty detailed down to how each set of lifting felt, and what my splits were on a 21/15/9. I want to know what I can improve on. Same goes for diet. If I tried something new in the diet, say some bell peppers for breakfast, I want to note that. If there’s a day I had bad stomach cramps and the workout was uncomfortable, I need to look at the journal and see what changed. I know from experience that peppers and me don’t get along, it messed me up for about two weeks and until I started looking at what days I felt bad and what changed. It was peppers of the nightshade family that don’t like me. Now I know and avoid them.
Success is right around the corner if you take the steps to set yourself up for it. Be honest, set specific achievable goals, be accountable, journal, and re-address every so often. This path will be hard and challenging, but in the end totally worth it!! We as coaches love to see you succeed in our gym and in life. If you have any questions about goal setting please feel free to ask.