Focus Your Goals
Almost everyone joins the gym with a specific goal in mind. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase endurance, lower blood pressure, or simply become healthier, it’s important to really work out the details of that goal in order to achieve it.
If you set a goal, you have to ask yourself what you’re actually, critically going to do in order to achieve it. Many people come into the gym saying that they want to get stronger, so we follow up by asking them further about how they intend to achieve that goal.
When setting goals, it’s important to think of them in terms of SMART goals. A smart goal can be broken down like this:
Set a Specific Goal
In order to achieve your goal, it should be as specific as possible so that you know exactly what you’re working towards. The goal ‘get stronger’ is too vague when it comes to SMART goal setting. Really, you need to ask what do you want to achieve, and how do you want to achieve it? Why do you want to do it, and how will it benefit you? Once you work out the specifics, you’re on your way to setting your SMART goal!
Make Goals Measurable
If your goal isn’t measurable, you won’t know when you’ve reached it. Whether it’s lifting weights or changing how your clothing fits, setting a measurable goal is an important part of achieving it. In saying this, it’s important to consider what a healthy rate of progress is.
An other benefit to creating measurable goals is that you can give yourself little milestones along the way. By breaking the larger goal into a smaller, weekly goal, it gives you something to work towards and celebrate each week. Not only will this keep you feeling motivated, it will make the larger goal feel even closer in reach.
Have you ever tried to create a habit, but stopped after a few days? A lot of that has to do with accountability. When you’re only accountable to yourself, it becomes easier to give excuses and let your goals slip. When you’re accountable to an other person or a team of people, it physically alters the way our minds process the work that goes into achieving the goal.
Having a BFF (best fitness friend) or a Personal Coach to be accountable to is a great way to make sure that your commitment level stays strong throughout the entire process. Setting regular workouts, meetings, phone calls or appointments to touch base with that person will be an important part of the process.
Set a Realistic Goal
When setting a realistic goal, you need to ask yourself two series of questions:
1. Ask yourself how committed you really are to achieving this goal. Are you willing to make small sacrifices in order to achieve this goal? Will you go to bed earlier, drink more water, and make other healthy choices in order to meet this goal? Are you willing to stop making excuses and prioritize this goal in your life? Be realistic with yourself.
2. Find out what a healthy, realistic goal is for your age and physical ability. If you aren’t sure, you should consult with your physician or a Personal Coach to help you figure it out. Is increasing your muscle mass by 10% an achievable goal? Absolutely! Is doing it within the next 5 days realistic? Probably not. Try running your goal past a professional who can lend their knowledge and guide you down the right path.
By setting a realistic goal, you’ll feel much more empowered as you come closer to reaching your goal.
Have a Timeframe
Now, this is the real money maker! In order to see success, you need to know the timeframe for your goal. The timeframe gives you a target date to work towards, and helps you breakdown your big goal into mini, weekly goals. The timeframe will help you stay motivated throughout the entire process and will make sure that you keep your eye on the prize.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to set your next goal, get started with this SMART Goal Setting Worksheet.
An example of a SMART goal is:
Exercise with a friend 3 times a week in order to gain 5% muscle mass and feel stronger by March 31, 2017.