One of the most important aspects of your fitness journey is your goals.
Whether you're trying to shed some unwanted weight, gain muscle, lean out, or just make your body feel better, goals are a necessity to determine where you want to be and help guide you throughout your journey.
Start by setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound
Make your goals so they are extremely clear. This allows you to create a clear path to what you want. Make sure you understand why your goal matters to you, what exactly you want to accomplish, who might be involved, where your goal takes place, and which resource(s) you need to achieve your goal.
You want to be able to track your progress from start to finish. This means you need to have goals that are measurable. In a fitness setting, that could mean that you want to lose 22 pounds, or you want to add 30 pounds to your maximum bench press.
Tracking that progress also helps you stay focused, meet deadlines, and create a thrill when you can feel yourself getting close.
Ask yourself these questions when writing out your goals:
How much or how many? (Example: How many pounds do you want to add to your squat, how much do I want to lose?)
How do I know when I reach my goal? What's the number I hit to know I reached my goal. If you don't set a number, is there really a goal there?
There's a balance between goals that are realistic and outlandish. You want to find a goal that is challenging but can still be accomplished. Make sure your goal is realistic enough to reach but hard enough to challenge your process.
Another important question here is to determine if there a
re outside factors that may play into you reaching your goal (i.e. financials, time restraints, etc.).
Make your goals matter to YOU. Don't set a goal based on what matters to society, or what the social norm is. Set it based on what you want to see for YOURSELF. At the end of the day, you're responsible for your success, and if you can relate to your goals and connect with them, it gives you a better chance to reach them.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if your goals are truly relevant to you:
Is my goal worthwhile to me? Is it worth my time?
Is this the right time to go for this goal?
Does this line up with some of my other goals or aspirations?
This relates back to your ability to measure it. Set a time frame that you want to achieve your goals. Let's look at two examples.
Example 1: I want to lose weight.
Example 1 is not measurable or time-bound. This is basically a general statement you might make to a friend while having drinks.
Example 2: I want to lose 22 pounds before April 4th.
This example not only makes your goals trackable but also gives you a time frame to work with and keep yourself accountable.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself, reverse engineer them, find a plan to reach them, and set yourself up for success.