Many of us are familiar with the concept of goal setting. But how often do we actually do it?
And how often do we actually REACH those goals even when we have them? I would suggest not often enough! If we were all crushing our goals, we would be a lot happier, a lot healthier, and probably a lot richer!
So what holds us back? Is it a lack of desire? I don't think so... A lack of talent? Possibly, but I doubt it. We can make up for a lack of talent in most areas.
So what then? From what I have seen, most failures stem from the fact that people don't have CLEAR, WRITTEN GOALS. First, let's start with looking at what goal setting is. According to mindtools.com:
Are you asking yourself "how the hell is thinking going to help me lose weight?!" Hang in there. I will explain how there is more than a "jiggle it to lose it" concept at work here.
Without a goal, you have no direction. You don't even know what you are working towards. You might say, "yes I do! I am here to lose weight". Sorry, but that's not a goal! That is a poor attempt at justifying why you are sweating your ass off in the summer heat at the gym. To be a true goal it must be SMART.
The "I am here to lose weight" statement is none of these. You might say this is a measurable goal, but the truth is we fluctuate several pounds a day in water. So what if you lost two pounds when you got on the scale today? Measurable success right? No. That may be water. You may gain it back tomorrow. Or worse, what if you lost muscle? Would you be happy with that? After all, your goal was to lose "weight" and you did. I highly doubt you would be satisfied with that.
Chances are you are realizing that "losing weight" just isn't specific enough. You might be back-pedaling saying, "Well what I meant was...I want to lose fat." This is a good first step. But let's look at the SMART way to write this goal. Maybe something like this, "I want to lose 5 lbs of body fat by September 30th." How much more motivating is that? Now you can see a clear finish line. You know exactly what the goal is and how long you have to get there. Think about it like a project from your boss. If he said, "I want you to write me a paper, " where and when would you begin? You have all the time in the world. Now imagine if he told you to write a paper on your ideas of how the company can save $10,000 this year, due by September 1st and no more than two pages long. I don't know about you, but I would be on that right away! I have a deadline. The same thing applies to your fitness goals.
We all need goals...even your trainers. And one of the best ways to reach them is to share them with others for accountability. Therefore, we are going to hang a dry erase board in emPower with the personal goals of each of your trainers! Your job is to hold us accountable to them! Some may change monthly, some may take a year or more to accomplish. There are no rules other than meeting the SMART criteria. I highly suggest you develop your own and share them with your trainer, your friends, your family, and your coworkers. The more people you have checking in on you, the more likely you are to succeed! (And the more likely all those people are to understand why you are doing the things you do!)
For me, I have a very specific goal for the next year: to become the first American Ninja Warrior. No American has ever completed the finals course. This is my goal. I had this goal in mind years ago when I started mud runs/adventure races. After participating over the past few years, qualifying for world championships and taking home age group awards, I believe this year is the year. Sure, I applied last year (check out the shameless plug here: https://youtu.be/ySXQ-mY979A) and never got the call. So it is a big step to my goal. But I truly believe it fits the SMART principles...and yes, I do think it is possible! When you commit your training, your lifestyle, and your mind to your goals, anything is possible. Just because I haven't been given the chance doesn't mean I can't do it!
One of my favorite quotes (and I know many of you have heard me say it before) is "plan your work and work your plan." This is how you reach your goals.
-Author Coach Josh March