Goal Setting is a vital tool to use in any personal development journey whether that is inside or outside of the gym. It is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.
Why Set Them?
The main reason is motivation. It works in a few ways, in that, it will give you both intrinsic motivation (internal) and extrinsic motivation (external) – we will go through those two concepts in another blog. Having a goal or target to achieve gives you a reason to get down to the gym even when it has been a long work day, or when it is an early morning class and it is far easier and tempting to stay in bed, but having the knowledge of “If I don’t go right now, I am delaying myself achieving my goal”. That is a huge factor on any development journey.
It also allows focus. Having a goal to work towards allows you to focus on what you can do to achieve it. Rather than having a general goal of weight loss for example, having a focussed goal of losing a certain number of KG within a specific time frame allows you to clear your mind and focus on that one thing. With this can bring a development of self confidence. Achieving these goals one after the other in succession brings with it a fantastic feeling and brings you confidence in what you are doing and how you are doing it.
How Do We Set Them?
The best way to create your goals are to think long term then work your way backwards. For example:
Set a long term goal (one year for example) of losing 10kg. The next step would be to then set some medium term goals (4-6 months) and then a short term goal (1-2 months) to act as stepping stones to completing the long term goal.
To further enhance the goal setting method is to use S.M.A.R.T goals.
S – Specific (or Significant).
M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
Using these steps allows you to keep your goals focussed and easier to achieve. These steps play into the above statements about why we should set goals. Having goals devised by the SMART protocol will definitely increase your motivation and confidence.
For example, someone with the goal of “lose some weight this year”, the initial motivation may be there but this can very easily fade as it so often does. The goal isn’t specific, no specific amount has been set, nothing is attainable, there is no method of measuring progress and no time scale to set achievements against. This will all be too daunting after a while, motivation will decrease and as a result of not achieving what they want confidence can take a hit.
Compare that to a goal such as: “Lose 5kg by August 2019, by attending one PT per week with three classes, with fat loss measurements and weigh Ins every two weeks”.
This goal is very specific, it is measured by regular measurement and weigh-ins, it has a time limit or a date to be achieved by, and is definitely attainable and not too far fetched.
These are the sorts of goals we should be looking at setting. Whether you are just attending classes or doing regular PT sessions.