How To Set Goals and Stick To Them
Written By: Coach Amy
Setting goals comes easy to some people. I am not one of those people. It takes a lot of conscious effort for me to set a reasonable goal and then create a plan to achieve it. Sometimes I even see a plan that I've set out for myself as something that is now infringing on my time and the freedom to choose how I spend my day.
But over time, and with lots of practice, this thinking has slowly and surely faded as the necessity of having goals with a plan have become evident in my life. I began CrossFit back in 2010, right as the East Coast was really beginning to jump on the train. I learned very quickly that without goals and a logical plan to achieve those goals, my fitness journey likely would still progress, but I would have no way to know by how much, or how quickly.
My change in thinking all started with a log book. Now, this post is about goals, but before we can set goals, we do need to know where we're coming from. Keeping a log book of your workouts, weightlifting records, waist size, food intake, or anything else you are attempting to measure in life is a critical step one. Once we know where we've started, setting a plan with a reasonable time frame becomes much easier.
You may have heard of S.M.A.R.T goals before. In goal setting, we need to make sure our goals are smart: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Without all of these elements, our goals become as lofty as a day dream.
Write out exactly what you want to achieve. Some examples may be 'do one strict pull up', 'lose 3 inches from my waist', 'be able to pick up my grandson'. We must be specific as to not get overwhelmed with the goal. Something such as 'climb Mount Everest' is a great goal, but if you have never climbed a mountain in your life, we must start much more specific. For example, 'find a climbing instructor and log 10 climbing hours this month'.
Our goals must have some sort of measure that can be recorded and compared over time. 'Talk to 5 people this month about my new start-up'. Then physically record each time you speak to someone about the new company. At the end of the month, look back and see if you hit your goal.
Our goals must be attainable. Setting a goal to buy a lamborghini in 2 weeks if you are making minimum wage and still paying off student loans very likely is not possible - save winning the lottery. Is this goal truly something you can accomplish?
Is this goal worthwhile? Setting a goal to travel the world is wonderful, but is this a good time in your life to do so? Take into account things like time, finances, family matters. Our goals affect everyone around us as they will demand work on our part. Can you afford the time it will take to achieve?
In order to begin developing the plan to reach your goal, you must have a time frame attached to it. Without a time frame, our goals are often forgotten about, as we fail to give ourselves a deadline.
An example of a S.M.A.R.T goal as related to our time in the gym might go something like this: "Do 1 strict pull up by January 1st by spending 10 minutes three times a week working on my pulling strength." From here, you can easily develop a plan with your coach to achieve this. Maybe they write you a month-long program to be completed on your own with short-term milestones to measure your progress.
At Triangle CrossFit, we reassess our goals and progress every 3 months through goal setting meetings. 10 minutes of your time will help you collect your thoughts, narrow down your goals to the most immediate and important, and help you develop a plan to work towards meeting that goal.
Remember, a goal without a plan is just a dream. Set a S.M.A.R.T goal, write out a plan, and get to work.