Goal Setting 101
No Limit Fitness Studio | NLFS CrossFit
The New Year is upon us! Along with it, we all have big dreams of what we are going to achieve, whether they be personal or professional. Many times fitness goals are included in your New Year’s resolutions and you have every intention of keeping them. Unfortunately, something happens along the way. You hit a few unforeseen bumps in the road causing those resolutions to be set aside. Often enough they are forgotten entirely!
What can you do to stay on track this time? How on Earth are you going to set a goal/resolution and stick to it throughout the year? Has anyone EVER made a New Year’s resolution and kept to it?
This year, we’ve got your back! Here are a few strategies to help you make and stick to your 2019 fitness goals!
- Make Realistic Goals
It’s very easy to say things like “This year I’m going to lose 60, 80, 100 pounds!” or “I’m going to squat 150lbs more than I do now!”, but realistically those things probably won’t happen. Making goals such as this, while admirable, set you up for failure for the year. Once you see in April or May that you aren’t on track to reach them, the motivation you had at the beginning of the year tends to dissipate.
Instead of making the wild claims of extreme weight loss/strength gain, make a few smaller, more realistic goals to start. This could be losing 5 pounds over the next month or two, or adding 10 pounds to your squat by the time Spring starts. Looking for the small improvements over shorter periods of time will lead to larger improvements by the end of 2019.
- Make Performance Goals Too
Don’t just make weight loss goals, make goals that you can see in the gym. Such as adding a realistic amount of weight to your squats, or being able to get 20 calories on the Assault Bike in 2 minutes. This will give you something to push towards in the gym, which will help you work harder, burn more calories, and inevitably help with your weight loss goal.
- Write Your Goals Down
This is a big one. A lot of people make their big claims on the first day of the New Year then completely forget what they are by the next sunrise. If you actually write your goals down, you have a much better chance of achieving them. You can then reference them throughout the year to make sure you are on track, or see if you’ve fallen off the wagon (see point 6).
- Set Long-Term And Short-Term Goals
Make a plan of where you want to be a month from now, three months from now, and six months from now. For example, let’s say you want to lose 25 pounds in 2019. It’s a good, achievable long-term goal. Now you’ll set your short-term goals around that, working backwards from the long-term goal. Six months from now you want to be down 15 pounds, three months from now you want to be down 9 pounds, and by the end of the month you want to be down 5 pounds. This way you have a progression to follow and see whether you are on track or not, and it will help you hold yourself accountable!
- Meet With Your Coach Or Trainer To Set Your Goals
It’s a good idea to talk with your coach or trainer to see what goals you can achieve together. Your trainer has experience working with all kinds of people in a lot of different situations. Their experience will help you know what to expect from the year, and whether or not the expectations for your long-term goal are realistic or not.
- Allow Your Goals To Be Adjusted
Like we stated at the beginning of this blog, things happen that derail your plans. It can be a new job, a surprise trip you have to take, etc. Life just has a way of throwing a wrench in our plans. So you have to be ready to adjust your goals accordingly.
Let’s take the 25 pound weight loss goal we used earlier. Things have been going well so you’ve lost 15 pounds and it’s only May. You’ve worked hard at your job and get promoted, but it’s longer hours and makes it tough to make it to the normal class time you go to. Your weight loss grinds to a halt and by July you’ve actually gained 5 pounds back. At this point you should take a look at your original goal and if you don’t think it’s going to happen ADJUST it, don’t give up on it. Maybe it needs to change to staying at the same weight for the next few months until things calm down at work, or drop the 5 pounds you put on.
- Take A Few “Before” Photos At The Beginning Of The Year
We’ve heard it a few times “I’ve been working out for X long and have only lost a couple pounds!” While this might be true, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Only losing a couple pounds doesn’t mean you’re not losing fat. Often times you are changing your body composition, which means more muscle and less fat. If you take a few before pictures then you can see the progress you are actually making by taking a few current pictures. You will probably be surprised with how well you’ve done!