Start Setting Goals
“People with clear goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine” Brian Tracy.
Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. This very same idea is true in the fitness and nutrition realm. You’ll be more successful if you know what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them. Perhaps you have your goals outlined in great detail, some of you will have written them down or are able to visualise them to a large degree – others, perhaps not.
Without goals, you’re basically wandering through life like a ship lost at sea at night without the guiding light from a lighthouse – you will be lost, you may be very lucky and get to your destination eventually but chances are you won’t ever see your endpoint without some sort of plan.
Success in the gym, like your career path, doesn’t happen by accident or a lucky break. Start taking charge of your journey. Set goals for yourself and stay on track to reach them. There is an acronym we use SMART, and your goals should be based around this. SMART is a best practice framework for setting goals. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Here are a number of ways to ensure you find the path that will substantially increase your odds of reaching your fitness and nutritional goals.
Set Long term goals
Think about the future and what you want to accomplish. This is like that lighthouse in the distance, your guiding light when you go off track perhaps. Your thinking how to lose weight, make that more specific and say you want to lose 4 stone over the next 12 months which hits all the SMART PRINCIPLES. Write that stuff down, write it down somewhere you will see it regularly. Hold yourself responsible and accountable for reaching that goal. Putting it down on paper is like creating a contract with yourself you have to stick to. Put that paper on a refrigerator, mirror, phone screen saver or pretty much anywhere you look on a daily basis. This is a constant reminder of the pact you made with yourself to reach your goal.
Set short-term goals
Whilst it is very important to write long-term goals, to even start achieving them you need to set little stepping stone aims and objectives to help get you there. At the end of the day losing that 4 stone isn’t just going happen overnight, and it definitely won’t happen just because you wrote it down! You need to create monthly goals, weekly goals and even daily goals.
Your goals could look like this:
- Daily -must drink 3 liters of water.
- Weekly – must get 3 training sessions done and plan my food for the week ahead.
- Monthly – lose 8lbs.
Then, write it down, get a journal and make yourself accountable. After all, it is you that is going to dictate your results.
Make goals measurable
If you are constantly hoping for achievement, constantly guessing then how do you think you can ensure you’re on the right path if you are not measuring the results? For example, you can set yourself weight or measurement goal. Simply jump on a set of scales in the gym and get someone to measure you, then set realistic goals for the following week or month. Maybe your goal is to increase your fitness or your body strength set a goal. Set a fitness goal of being able to run 5k, or being able to do a bodyweight chin up.
Your goals must be measurable. Having a 3-month goal of completing a 5k, or maybe doing weekly weigh in assessments will help to ensure you stay on track with your short-term and ultimately your long-term goals. If you keep setting these short-term goals it is a way of keeping yourself accountable, plus it’s also a vital source of feedback, allowing you to tweak your goals if necessary
Do not set unrealistic goals
Unrealistic goals are going to do one thing, set you up for a big fall and eventually relapse. It’s pretty inevitable that if the goals are too extreme that you will become frustrated, and ultimately you’ll derail from your long-term goal. Setting an aggressive long-term goal can be counterproductive; you’ll have a better chance of success of actually reaching your target goal if you give yourself the time you need. You’re not going to get there overnight, no matter how badly you want something. It takes patience and persistence, and that has to be your approach.
Lastly, the most important thing in any goal achievement is you! You need to be the driving force behind your actions. You need to find something that stokes the fire in the belly, find out what gets you going and make sure your goal is about you. That’s not being selfish because if your goal is about anything other than you then you are a lot less likely to succeed and as we always say, you and you alone will dictate your level of success and results. You can choose to succeed or you can choose to fail, entirely up to you!