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The Importance of Setting Goals

by | Jan 27, 2023 | Advice

Whether you’re a newbie to the gym, an experienced lifter, or somewhere in-between, goal setting can be key to getting clear on what it is you want to achieve, how you will get there, and subsequently helping you stay accountable and on track with hitting that goal. 

Similarly, if you’re someone who has already set out your goals at the start of this month and is struggling to keep on track with them, hopefully, this blog can help you to get realigned!

You may have heard the term ‘SMART’ goal setting, which can be broken down into four stages; Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-bound. 

Step 1: Get clear on your why

Identify your overall aim, ‘what do I want to accomplish’, and your ‘WHY’ for what you are doing. Set a very specific, clear, long-term goal, that can be broken down into short-term goals. Without this, you will likely find your motivation lacking before you know it, as your aim is not your own/specific to you. Your long-term goal will become a great motivator and help you to keep a clear direction to structure your training/ and nutrition around. 

Step 2: Make sure you can monitor/measure your progress

Work out how you will achieve your goal, and when it will be accomplished. Break it down into smaller goals within specific time frames or measurable quantities. For example, a goal for the month is broken down into weekly and daily habits. It is important to have a form of tracking your goals. If your goal is to hit a new PB, for example, you will need to monitor your progression in weights and reps each session. This could be physically ticking off daily habits as you hit them, electronically, or even through accountability check-ins with a coach.  

Step 3: Make it work for YOU

It is important that you plan out how you will achieve these goals around your current lifestyle and are willing to adapt and be flexible in any change of circumstance. Life often likes to throw curve balls… it’s important to find ways that make training work for you, on your time, in order to avoid feeling defeated in your journey to reaching your desired goals.

Step 4: Only set goals that are realistic/ relevant 

It is key that your goals align with any other goals or values that you have. You need to have strong reasoning behind your goals to push you forward in times when motivation may be lacking. Does the goal seem truly worthwhile to you? Go deeper into why this is and compare the difficulty of the steps you will need to take in order to reach your goal, to the feeling of regret if you know you could’ve done more to achieve it at the end. For example, on the days you (inevitably) may not want to work out, remind yourself of why you set your goals.

Final step: How to know if the time frame you’ve set is realistic and attainable 

The time frame should be in line with your daily activities and work around your lifestyle. It should feel challenging but still doable and should be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, and possibly yearly time frames. For example, if your goal is to lose half a stone in 30 days, this may be broken down into 1lb a week. 

Clear on your goals but struggling to maintain them? 

The hardest part may not be setting your goals but keeping them. Try to zone in on why you have set this goal and what it means to you when you will achieve it. A few final tips:

  • Clearly write down your goals (this is key) if it helps, make a checklist and tick them off as you go
  • Hire a coach or someone you trust that can help keep you accountable
  • Plan and structure your days to keep it as easy as possible for you to maintain
  • Try to enjoy the process as much as you can, as you will be more likely to stick to what you enjoy
  • Don’t get defeated if you don’t hit a goal. The best thing about exercise is that you can pick it straight back up and go again.

By Tabitha Zito – click here to access her links for more advice and tips!

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