Whether you are conscious of it or not, goal-setting is a major contributor to your level of success in and outside the gym. By being purposeful about setting and working towards achieving your goals, you gain control of the outcome.
Sometimes setting goals can create an uneasy feeling. It can be a little scary, and that's ok! Being afraid of failure, or the time and effort that it will take to reach your goal is natural. Remind yourself that you are worth it. You have what it takes to get there.
The action itself of setting goals narrows your focus and efforts, making you more effective with your time and energy. You will become more persistent and eventually mold your behaviors and lifestyle choices around meeting your objective.
The S.M.A.R.T. Goals acronym is a tool we can use to create an effective and realistic goal, as well as a plan towards reaching that goal. I encourage you to schedule a quiet block of time into your day this week to reflect on some things that are important to you. This might be reaching a new milestone in the gym like getting your first pull up, muscle up, 30 unbroken double unders, or a 300lb clean. Or perhaps you want to improve your mobility for overhead squats. It could also be a behavior or habit you are wanting to change. The key is, it must be something important to you! Next, run it through this checklist:
Specific: Is my goal specific? Do I know exactly what I want to accomplish?
Measurable: How will I know when I've met my goal? What kinds of benchmarks will I meet along the way?
Attainable: What are the means neccessary to achieve your goal? List everything you think you need. It's ok if you don't currently have every item on your list (like enough time). You might find later on not everything was really needed, or that you found a way to get it. Or perhaps you used the lack of something, like time, as an excuse to avoid persuing something that is important to you.
Relevant: What about this goal is important to you? How will you feel when you finally accomplish it? How is this goal relevant to your life?
Time-bound: When do you want to achieve this goal? Setting a realistic yet challenging time-frame creates urgency for your efforts.
Finally, WRITE IT DOWN and SHARE IT! Tell someone who is supportive of your mission and understands how important it is to you. This can be a friend, family member, gym buddy, co-worker or coach.