We all train for different reasons. Some train to improve athletic ability, others to look good, some train because they just love training. For the most part though people start training with a general end goal in mind. However how many truly define what they are looking for and, for the few that do, how many achieve it?
Goal setting is an important but often forgotten element of fitness. Setting goals can help to keep us motivated and disciplined within our programmes. It can provide focus and keep interest in your current routine. Every individual participating in any exercise programme whether novice or elite should have a goal. Goals are the key to measuring success.
Often, when we set ourselves goals they are very general, vague and have very few measurable aspects which in turn leads to us not achieving them. When setting goals we should try to follow a template that ensures we set realistic and achievable goals. The SMART template is a great one. It says that goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.
Goals should never be vague. They should be clear and concise. Goals like “I want to look good” or “I want to get stronger” are far too general and broad. They should instead become “I want to lower my body fat” and “I want to deadlift 200kg”. Our new specific goals get us to our more vague and original goals.
Goals should always be measurable. Looking good is not measurable but body fat percentage is. Strength can only be measured through components of strength hence the deadlift. A particular number should always be set in order to ensure goals are met.
Goals should never be completely out of reach. Take the above statements for example. You want to deadlift more in order to become stronger. So you decide you want to deadlift 200kg more than your current 1RM. It isn’t possible. Unattainable goals can have the opposite effect and can ruin an exercise routine. Set small goals. Set goals you truly believe you can achieve.
Goals should always be relevant to the individual setting them. Always set goals that you need, that make sense to your current routine. Prioritise areas that need improving.
The final criteria to a good goal is that it is time bound. This means an individual must set a deadline in which to reach their particular goal. This will create a sense of urgency and in turn ensure goals are met more promptly. Try to set goals with a short time cap. If this isn’t possible set smaller, more timely goals that will help build towards that long term end goal.
Now that we know what goals should look like we should now set ourselves a goal that includes all of the above criteria. Goals will always vary between individuals but all goals are important. If you have a goal in mind and are unsure as to the steps necessary to achieve it consult one of us coaches. Goals that seem impossible can often be made a lot more attainable when there is a good plan in place. As stated earlier, goals are the key to success. Now is the time to set your own.