Goal setting is important for helping you stay motivated and keep you accountable to your training and different sporting goals. If you want to achieve something, you need to stay consistent and setting a goal is a great way to keep you on track. So, how do we set a goal? We like to use the classic process of S.M.A.R.T goals. The reason being, it just works. It’s a great template to set yourself up, and ideally with your goals, you’re trying to make it objectifiable (something that you can measure). A S.M.A.R.T goal is the outcome of your interventions.
S – specific
Wish and hopeing for things to happen is not the road to success, unfourtunately “I wish I could be in better shape” is not specific. It just creates more questions and uncertainty – How do you want to be in shape? Is there a certain look that you want? Instead defining certain metrics are a better way of measuring an outcome i.e. Is there a certain body fat percentage that you want to be? Is there a certain weight that you want to be? That’s being specific.
M – measurable
Once again, you need to be able to measure what you want to change, “I just want to be lighter is” is not a specific measure, what is lighter? Another example, “I want to be stronger” Cool, but how much stronger do you want be? You need to find a way to quantify, put a measure to it, put a number to it. For example, “I wanna lose five kilos”, “I want to add five kilos to my bench press”.
A – actionable
How can you take action to become better and work towards that goal. With the example of losing weight, you can take action in a few different ways; change your diet, exercise more. Maybe you want to get stronger in the bench press, you can bench press more frequently, you can add accessories to your program that will help build your upper body, you can eat more protein to help recover from your training.
R – realistic
Being realistic depends on what you want to achieve and in what time frame do you want to achieve it. For example; “I’d love to be 58 kilos, but I’m currently 150 kilos, and 6 foot 9”.It’s unlikely that 58 kilos is a realistic weight and potentially unhealthy for this indivdual. Another example, “I’d love to bench press 500 kilos”. No one has ever bench pressed 500 kilos, and it’s unlikely your going to be the person to do it.
T – timely
You need to put a time frame on your goals, i.e. when do you want to achieve your goal by. This holds you accountable and creates commitment. For example, “I want to lose three kilos of body fat in 12 weeks”.
Find your WHY
It’s not enough to just set S.M.A.R.T goals, that is only the first step in the process. The next step is to find your “why”. A great way to do this is with an activity called the five whys. The five whys, is a way for you to just delve in and really understand for yourself why you want to achieve a certain goal. There’s a 100% going to be times where you’re lacking motivation – you can’t be bothered, you get really busy, life gets in the way. All these things are going to happen, although, when these things happen, and you’re starting to slip a little bit, you come back to your reason why. To start, simply ask yourself why am I doing this, for example; “I just wanna be in better shape”. That’s fine. That’s fairly motivating. But why? Why do you wanna be in shape? Once you’ve found that reason, go again. Why do I want to be in shape? Go again. Why? And, generally it takes, four to five whys before you find the REAL reason for why you want to be in better shape (the number’s pretty arbitrary). The idea is to really dig deep, and find out why you exactly want to achieve this goal. Now, you’ve got a strong motivating point. You’ve got something that’s going to hold you together through the tough times. Because, sometimes it’s gonna be challenging to achieve your goal.
Now you have a goal with an outcome and a reason why you want to achieve it, however, this is not going to be enough. Time will pass and you either would of achieved your goal or not, to make sure you are actually making change you need to set out a plan of process goals. Process goals can also be referred to as habits. You want to create habits that’ll lead you towards your outcome goal. For example, one of the big things for losing weight is time management. Managing your time is important so you can fit in the correct meals for your day, fit in time to meal prep, fit in a time to go to the shops. Starting with something as simple as time management, and scheduling regular meals, is a great way to kick off this process. You can make it a habit, because you can practice time managemnt every day. Once time management becomes a habit for you (usually after 14-21 days of consistent practice), you can add the next step i.e. eat slowly at each meal. Continue building and layering process goals. The idea of the process goal, is that you’re taking actionable step to achieve your outcome goal. Once you’ve achieved one outcome goal, set the next one. Using this simple process you can achieve great things over time.