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Sticking to New Year’s Goals

Monday, December 21, 2015
Author: 
Joseph Aratari, CFSC, CPT

As the holidays approach, and a new year around the corner, it’s time for the whole “new year, new me” statements and resolutions. Across all the resolutions and goals made, “sticking to a gym program” or “getting healthy” are among the top goals. Your typical commercial gym loves the new year celebration. Why you ask? Because people make farfetched resolutions, sign up for memberships, come for maybe two-three weeks then stop coming but keep paying. Nothing make your typical gym happier than collecting money on people who aren’t using their equipment, showers, towels, etc…However, and trust me when I say this, our staff at Next Level (or any gym that coaches from the heart) wants people in our sessions. Nothing is more exciting than coaching a session with many people, because our goal is to help as many people as possible, and we don’t do that by not having people coming through our doors. With that said, I am going to teach you goal setting skills to help you reach goals without quitting two weeks in.

First, what is goal setting? We all hear it but do we know what it is? In my words goal setting is a performance enhancement tool that identifies your WHY for setting a goal, what you want to accomplish, and a plan to accomplish these goals in a determined time frame. Before we dive deeper, I emphasis WHY, because without a strong WHY or purpose, your goals will fall flat. Your WHY has to be from intrinsic (internal) motivation rather than external. If you don’t personally feel attached to your goals, you will lose motivation when your faced with obstacles. “Losing 10 pounds to look good” is not as strong as “losing 10 pounds to be healthier and feel good”, although the goals are the same.

Next, we have to dive into the types of goals. First, subjective goals are general statements that are hard to measure, such as, “I want to have more fun”. However, these goals are still important and are important to assess, such as “I want to communicate better with my friends”. Next, objective/process goals are goals in which one works towards a certain level of proficiency such as scoring a certain score on a test to get into a college, thus, placing emphasis on the plan to get toward a goal. Last, outcome goals are solely based on end results such a “I want to win”. It is important to have goals from all these categories; however, we will focus on objective goals.

Once were ready to set a goal, it’s time to write SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable (& adjustable if you’ve had Professor Gonzalez from Brockport!), realistic and last timely. Too many people have goals such as “I want to go to the gym more” or “I need to get healthy”. Take a look at those goals again. How bad do those even sound? They lack any drive, reason and are way too general. Say your original goal is to “get stronger in the goblet squat”. Now we will make this SMART. First, let’s get specific. Saying “my current max goblet squat is 40 lbs, I wish to get it to 50”, is all we need to get some specifics. Next, we will need to make this measurable. “I want to improve my goblet squat 10 lbs, by sticking to my program, and writing down my weight used each workout. Next, ask ourselves, is this attainable & realistic? If we said to get our goblet squat from 40 lbs to 100 lbs, I would say no, but a small increase of 10 lbs certainly can be reached. Last let’s set a time frame of 2 months, so that gives us 8 weeks, meaning we need to go up in weight at a rate of a little over 1 lb each week. (However, do not think long term goals aren’t good! The time frame depends on the goal itself). Now our goal has changed from “I want to get stronger in the goblet squat” to “I want to improve my goblet squat from 40 to 50lbs in 2 months by sticking to a workout plan and writing down my weights used in each workout.” Boom. It doesn’t take much to see the difference and which goal will result in adherence.

Next, the plan. Using this from IMG academies helps us organize goals from outcome to performance, to the process or daily goals to reach our big goals. For example, using our goal previously stated, we can say that our technical goal, is practicing squat technique/form, that will help our performance goal of being able to push our knees out and let us reach the outcome goal of lifting more weight. This is a great reference and I advise you to print it out, as each goal has many subsets! Remember, “Ink it, don’t think it”. Get goals on paper!

 

 

Lastly, don’t fret when goals aren’t reached in a given time frame. Goals also have to be adjustable. As long as you set SMART goals, you can value the process of reaching goals, & if you fall short on a dead line, you now know the tools to reset and set new goals. Good luck in your goal setting & remember, get SMART!

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