Many times we set fitness goals only to give up on them and end up believing it was never anything you could achieve. We end up saying to ourselves that it is because ‘I am too tall, too short, have slow twitch fibres, always had weak legs, hold fat there as long as I can remember’…. When really it was because we set ourselves up to fail right from the start.
By following the SMART Training Principles you will be able to set a goal that is right for you with systems in place to combat you from self sabotaging your goal. So just what is a SMART Training Goal?
Set a specific goal and you will achieve a specific result. Set a ‘general’ goal and achieve a general result. Your goals need to be specific. So if you want to ‘Lose weight’, How much weight would you like to lose? What about the ‘I just want to be toned’ goal? What is toned to you? Do you have an example of the toned body you wish to achieve? Want to put on Muscle? How much muscle do you want to put on and where? How do you nail the goal to be as specific as possible? Go through answering the five “W” questions:
What: What would you like to achieve?
Why: What drives you towards achieving your goal? Your reason or purpose?
Who: Who is involved apart from you?
Where: What specific areas?
Which: This is where you can identify what you need or what you need to sort out in order to achieve your goal.
You need a set criteria to follow in order to measure your progress towards achieving your goal. If we go back to the first goal we mentioned of losing weight and make it specific, lets say your goal is to lose 10kgs body fat you would need to ask yourself ‘How will I know when I have accomplished this goal?’ The most basic way of measuring your progress is the weight scale. But being a specific goal of 10kg body fat loss we would need to look at using a type of Bio-Impedence machine, Tanita scales that measure your body fat % and your Active tissue %. That way you know whether you are losing muscle or losing fat which will let you know whether you are eating or training right for your goal and ultimately let you know when you have achieved your 10kg body fat loss. It is important that you find the right measuring system as each measuring tool has variable readings and advantages and disadvantages.
Often we set goals that we think we should be aiming for and wonder why we fall short of it every time we try to achieve it. A few simple questions you want to ask yourself are: Is your goal realistic? Do you have 10kg of body fat to lose? Have you set your life up in a way that is congruent to achieving your goal? Have you cleaned out your pantry of all processed foods and organised your meals for the next couple weeks to create the habit. DO you have support around you? Do you have a Personal Trainer helping you with your training regime. You will be supprised to find out just how many goals you have set which were unattainable due to poor goal setting. Do your research, find out what it takes to achieve the type of goal you have set yourself. Ask questions, ask your trainer, seek assistance.
It is important to set training goals that are relevant to you in every way. Losing 10kgs body fat could be a relevant goal if you are wanting to compete at a certain weight class in fighting sports. Or maybe you want to be lighter to run with ease. Losing 10kgs to be the best basket baller isn’t really relevant. It may assist with moving around the court but it does not improve your skill levels, presence on court or shooting percentage.
Giving your goal a time frame will make sure you stay accountable to everything you need to do to achieve it. A time frame keeps you focused on the tasks ahead and gives you that gentle push to keep on top of each task. Without a time frame your goal gets pushed to the bottom of the’To do’ list. Giving yourself the right time frame will help eliminate unnecessary stress or disappointment.
These Principles if followed correctly will take the headache and heartache out of goal setting and working towards achieving the goals. Sometimes life takes us in other directions either by other commitments, family, sickness, injury etc so your goals must be ADJUSTABLE. Do note that the common denominator in ANY goal you set for yourself is…..YOU!
If you need help with goal setting, just ask!… We’ve made all the mistakes, we don’t want you to do the same….we want you to learn and go forward