Let’s talk goal setting. For most people it’s a dreaded exercise. I line manage 30 people for my 9-5 job and whenever we have to set our goals for the year, my direct reports whine and complain and put it off till the very last minute. Their goals end up being pretty crappy and can’t be measured well and then they just sit there and look at me helplessly.
Recently, I’ve had a few clients who need to recommit to their “why.” Part of why we sometimes struggle is because our end goal is so far off that we question whether or not we’ll actually get there. If we haven’t set short term goals, it may feel like an impossible task.
Here’s how I approach goal setting, and this is something you can and should sit down and do at some point in your journey. I encourage you all to actually sit down with a piece of paper and write these down and put them somewhere visible. Make sure you see them every single day.
– Pick 1-2 long term goals. These goals should be your end objective(s). They should NOT include a certain scale weight, body fat %, or clothing size. Please stop torturing yourself over numbers that don’t matter and numbers that you likely may never achieve. And that doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
– Set 3-5 short term goals that will help you get to your end game. Make sure these goals are MEASURABLE AND SPECIFIC and they should be challenging, yet attainable. Examples are hitting a certain % dietary compliance for the week, or cutting down from 1 drink a week to 1 drink a month. Or increasing your weight on a certain lift. Or beating a certain time or number of rounds in one of your MET circuits. You should have a goal for every day and for every workout you attempt. The possibilities are endless, but they should relate back to your long term goal and they should be measurable.
YOU as the client need to be the one to set your goals, not your coach. You need to own your goals and embrace them, and that will not happen if we set them for you. You also need to plan for barriers and to potentially not meet some or your short term goals. You should have some sort of strategy in place to help you overcome those barriers.
Share your goals with your coach. Get his or her feedback and input. Check in with your coach during your biweekly to let them know how you’re doing with your short term goals and if you need to adjust them. This is arguably the most important part. Loop us in!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Nothing is more true. Write it down. Make it happen.