Whether you’re training for health reasons, sports performance or to feel/look good, everyone has a goal in mind that they would aspire to achieve. In a perfect world, it would be a straightforward path to this goal, however, there will be ups and downs and setbacks along the way. Having an effective method of goal setting can help you stay focused and keep you on track. Using our modified SMART target system, you can measure your success in order to achieve your results.
Your goal must be clearly defined in order for you to progress. As coaches, you hear a lot of people say they want to burn fat, build muscle, improve their fitness, fix an injury, get ready for an event….the list goes on, but these people are the very same people that are stagnant in their journey. You must have a specific goal you want to achieve, I.E. I want to reduce my body fat percentage by 5%.
Your goal must have a value that can be measured. You’re essentially conducting a science experiment with multiple variables involved. Your outcome must be measurable against your input. There’s no point just simply saying ‘I want to reduce my body fat percentage’ if you have no means to record the data needed to quantify your results. QUICK TIP: Don’t try to change too many variables at once (we’ll come onto this later)
Don’t set goals which are so extreme that you set yourself up for failure. For example, losing 5% body fat is more than achievable in say, a 3-month program designed specifically to do so. Saying you want to drop 5% in 3 weeks, however, is a bit extreme and you will fail.
This is where our modification fits in. Repeatability in fitness ultimately boils down to controlling your variables effectively. You need to know what change resulted in an adaptation. I.E. If you did, in fact, drop 5% body fat how would you tell what worked best if you changed 8 things at once? How would you isolate that dominant force in your change so that you can become more and more effective at achieving your goals? You need to gradually implement change so that you can assess what works, what doesn’t work and what you need to include more/less of in the future. For example, if you are just starting to work out, do 3 total body training sessions/week and don’t change anything else. When you are comfortable with that, begin to introduce some healthier options in your nutrition and see what effect that has, etc etc. Gradually layer your changes on so that it becomes a habit rather than a chore.
Placing a timescale on any goal is really important in achieving it. Without that timescale, you can make excuses for yourself that it won’t affect your goals that much, but that’s how you end up stuck and not achieving anything. Setting a goal of losing 5% body fat in 3 months will help keep your focus, especially when you break that down into smaller ‘sub-goals’ which will break down into months/weeks. It’s a lot easier to say no to that pizza when you know you’ve only got 4 weeks left to achieve your goal.
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