Many people have dreams of achieving an amazing physique, lifting some serious weight, or participating in an athletic event. While many people dream, only some will see their dream come to fruition. In a world where people seek instant gratification and overnight success, few can comprehend the amount of work that goes into achieving a personal record or six pack abs. A key factor that can help anyone attain a high level of achievement is: routine goal setting. Goal setting becomes important because by setting goals we can anchor ourselves into routine and productive habits. The result? Daily progression in the right direction that will eventually get us to our dream.
If you are looking to achieve a particular athletic goal you will want to follow these bullet proof methods of goal setting.
- Set a Goal w/Your Coach: The first step will be to find the right goal for you. Are you looking to change your physique? Make a certain PR? Talking with your coach is imperative. Based on their experience they will be able to narrow in on a goal that is realistic, fitting, and timely. You may want to lose 50lbs in 4 weeks but even with the perfect regime may only be able to realistically lose 1lb a week. Your coach may affirm that you can lose 50lbs; but, losing 4lbs every 4 weeks will be a more realistic and sustainable goal. Remember, having your coach in on your goal is important. Without people knowing about our goals success will be challenging if not impossible. When we share and show someone our goals we are more inclined to exhibit accountability.
- Make a Plan: Now that you have clarity on your goal you can map out the best strategy to attain it with your coach. With your goal identify the steps you need to take. Do you need to lift 5 days a week? Do you need to go into a deficit for a time to lose body fat? Depending on how big your goal is you may have to take it in phases or add in some additional short term goals. You may want to build bigger glutes; but, before you can build you will need to lose the 10lbs of excess body fat you are carrying. So you might make a short term goal to lose the 10lbs and then build. Remember true success is never microwaved. It is achieved over time through smart steps.
- Create Awareness: Make sure you practice daily awareness of your goal through habits and visibility. If your goal is to lose 20lbs you will want to incorporate daily habits that bring you back to that reality. Maybe on your phone your screensaver is a picture of yourself in the past at your goal weight or an image of someone who has already attained that. Maybe on your bathroom mirror you have a quote that reminds you what you are looking to achieve. You can also create a daily check-list of 5 habits that will move you forward each day. (ex. Preplanning macros daily, getting in cardio, drinking 3 liters of water daily, expressing gratitudes, and getting enough sleep.)
- Track Progress: Since most goals take time and commitment we need to find ways to measure, track, and feel great about the progress we make every single day. Ways that we track progress in this group include the following:
- Visual: Progress Pictures, Form Feedback Videos, etc.
- Quantitative: Weight Lifting Log, Metrics (Waist, Hip, Thigh), Improved Heart Rate
The reality is you may not lose weight every week, or every day. That doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. Maybe you didn’t lose weight but lost ¼’’ off your waist and hit a new PR on your squat that week. Progress is progress!
- Ask for Feedback: Gaining consistent feedback with your goal is important because it will help you gain realistic insight into where you currently stand, what you need to work on, and what you are doing right. Afraid of a review that isn’t 100%? Don’t be! Some of the most important moments in your life are moments when you see and comprehend your blind spots. Without critical feedback you may continue down a path opposite of your goal. If your coach points out where you can improve, celebrate! You now have additional insight on how to succeed.