Do you set goals? Are they to lose weight? Gain muscle and strength? Build better habits? Whatever the reason may be, you’re here and you have an end goal.
Goal setting is huge when it comes to achieving what you want – whether it is fitness, work, and life in general. A common format for setting goals is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Oriented. It’s a great tool to use — it lays out the goal and how you plan to achieve that goal.
A lot of people, including myself have a hard time with this though. When I started in the fitness world, my goals were to gain muscle and be “skinny”. Makes a lot of sense? Not at all. I was 16 when I started lifting weights, I barely knew what I was doing and all I wanted was to be “skinny” and have muscle. The problem was, I didn’t know how to achieve those 2 goals. I wasn’t able to achieve both of them. Plus, skinny (what even defines it?) is not my body type. So, from there, I built my goals around gaining strength and adding muscle mass, and being “skinny” was thrown out the window.
The majority of my clients come to me with a goal of “losing weight”. That’s great, they have a goal and we have something to build off of. But, the problem with just saying “I want to lose weight” is that it does not define anything. Let’s add a little more detail in there, like “I want to lose 20 pounds.” Okay, now we have something, but again we run into a problem. What the 20lbs of weight is defined as? Is it muscle? Fat? How are you going to achieve this? How long are you giving yourself? See the problem? There’s so much more detail that goes into goals!
Another issue that I, as well as many other trainers have with clients’ saying that they want to lose weight, is that it gives the goal a negative connotation. The goal of losing weight doesn’t focus on what you really want, instead it focuses on what you don’t want, which is weight. A positive way to switch around that goal is saying “I want to get healthy and feel good physically and mentally.” It’s harder to achieve a goal that has a negative influence because you’ll be so focused on trying to lose weight. Instead, the focus should be on building healthy habits (i.e. working out 3x a week, eating 5 small meals/day, reducing binge eating, etc.).
When setting goals, take the time to write them out and think them through. Think about how you plan to achieve these goals, the time frame you would like to achieve it in (one that is do-able), and ways to keep yourself accountable and on track to reach these goals. Creating a goal that has depth to it is more likely to be accomplished in the long run. If you’re not sure where to start with your goal, do some research, talk to friends, talk to me and I’d be more than happy to discuss your fitness goals and help you get started!