A Goal is defined as “something that you hope to achieve synonym aim to work toward a goal to achieve/attain a goal You need to set yourself some long-term goals” (Oxford University, 2022). A goal can have a timeframe of short or long periods.
Now that we have a clear picture of what a goal can be we must also acknowledge what a S.M.A.R.T goal is. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time. An example of a smart goal can be trying to get 8 glasses of water in a day, working out 3 times a week, or trying to get 7 hours of sleep per day for the next 3 months.
Now that we have an idea of smart goals, it’s also important to understand along with a goal oftentimes there are setbacks, confusion, failure, and getting lost. Setbacks are 100% normal and a part of the journey. Trusting the process by having a growth mindset approach can help us overcome hurdles and get to the finish line in the most effective way possible.
Some simple skills to focus on are
- Remind yourself about a growth mindset
- 5-minute action plans to get back into the groove of things.
- Changing the environment around us can make getting to our goals difficult
- Get help from a fitness professional with questions or concerns
- Learn from experience and finds ways to not make the same mistake
Now that we determine a growth mindset and smart goals are critical assets to achieving our desire and wants. The next step is to establish what we want to accomplish when we want to complete the task, how, and why. This can be a challenging question to answer if you have not already decided what goals you want to accomplish for the new year. This is okay so I have narrowed down a couple of questions to help navigate you toward what a goal looks like.
What Are your goals? (Pick at least 4 that apply)
- Lose weight
- Gain lean muscle mass
- Increase overall strength
- Get toned and defined
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Increase flexibility
- Prepare for a life or athletic event
- Recover from an injury
- Learn a new movement or tool
- Improve overall health
Of those few that you mentioned, which is your primary goal?
Why is it significant to you?
- To maximize my health and wellness
- I have an upcoming event
- I recently set a goal
- My current fitness/results displease me
Realistically, how soon would you like to achieve this goal?
- Less than 1 month
- 2-3 months
- 4-6 months
- 7-12 months
What obstacles do you see that might get in the way of achieving this goal?
- No obstacles
- Previous failures
Now that you have a better understanding of why this goal might be significant for you. The next question to ask yourself is, how committed are you to achieving this goal? What is a realistic time frame you will like to give yourself to accomplish the goal? Understanding a time frame like 6 months allows you to break time into micro sections like months. To keep track of how each month is going and if you are making progress or hitting a plateau. Setting up time within each week of at least 1 hour is going to allow you to be successful because you’re setting up the time throughout your busy week to reflect on your goals. This tactic has helped hundreds of my clients achieve their goals and overcome hurdles before the present.
Now that we know what we want to accomplish what are we doing throughout the week to get us toward that finish line or goal? How many times a week are you committed to achieving your goals?
Do you have a routine when you’re working out? Do you have a program that includes mobility, dynamic warm-up, movement prep, and strength training cool-down? If you have 5 have components listed then you’re off to a great start.
If not what part of your program needs the biggest help for improvement? (eg: mobility, dynamic warm-up, movement prep, strength training cool-down). It’s 100% okay if you don’t have all the answers and that’s where having a growth mindset is critical to developing new skills and getting feedback from a fitness professional.
Now that we have defined what our goals are, the timeframe to get towards our goals, and how are we going to prepare for our goals. This next step I like to call “Plan & Prepare” is what obstacles will most likely be a hurdle we need to overcome to achieve the desired goal we set for ourselves. Regardless the obstacles are work, family, money, time, school, diet/nutrition, knowledge, injury, and previous failures. What are we going to do differently from the past training to achieve these goals?
For example, if I know nutrition is going to be the limiting factor then I can plan & prepare so it doesn’t become a problem. What part of the obstacles do I need the most help with, is it knowing what to eat? Am I eating too much or too little? Am I eating because I’m hungry or because I’m stressed? Understanding why we do things is important to help us remember why we are doing a task in the first place.
If my goal is to become an endurance athlete, I need to remember the reason I warm up and stretch before I run could be many different reasons. Like preventing injury, moving pain-free, improving personal records, and getting to my goals in the healthiest way possible. Or it can be something nutritional like did I drink enough water? What foods can I eat to fuel my performance? What foods can I eat after a long run?
If my goal loses body fat and tone up, am I keeping consistent with my workout? Am I doing the right time of workout to get me towards my goals? In reality, if my goal is to become stronger the longer rest periods are beneficial for ATP production and recovery. One minute is always going to be superior to 30 seconds and 2 minutes is always going. Be superior in 1 minute. This is great rest time for someone trying to build muscle but not for somebody trying to lose body fat. So understanding why we do things a certain way and how it can impact getting towards our goals or not is important.
Next time you step into the gym ask yourself or your gym partner, how is this helping me towards my goals? If you are dehydrated in water intake do you think you’re helping or hurting your body? If you’re not getting proper sleep, is this going to affect your workout?
In conclusion, setting up time in the day for yourself is always going to be superior to just going into the gym and guessing what you’re going to do. Having a goal, timeframe, why, preparation, and knowing what your obstacle are going to be. Is going to make you more likely to achieve your goal vs someone who didn’t set up the time to be successful.
Regardless of the weather, your goal is, Lose weight, Gain lean muscle mass, Increase overall strength, Get toned and defined Improve cardiovascular fitness, Increase flexibility, Prepare for a life or athletic event, Recover from an injury, Learn a new movement or tool, and Improve overall health. It’s important to have a plan and understand why what your doing is going to be important to get you from point A to point B.
Now if you still need help setting up a plan, and figuring out what your next steps are and how to get one step closer to your goals. If you like to learn more about Exercise, Nutrition, Trainers, Wellness, and more subscribe to the weekly newsletter. Please reshare this on social media or with your friend if you found this useful.
If you like to make changes to your daily routine, practice more growth mindset techniques, looking for accountability. Please Reach-out via Trainerize and I will get back to you within 24 hours. Or through Instagram @EliteRubi.
Personal Trainer | Coach | Precision Nutritionist
Specialize: Bodybuilding, Precision Nutrition, Functional Range Conditioning Mobility, Pre/ Post Natal