Monday, June 16, 2008
This weekend, the Results Fitness Team was at a Perform Better fitness summit for 3 days to see some of the best speakers in the WORLD speak and demonstrate some of the newest, latest, and greatest techniques out there for us as coaches to use as tools to get our clients the best success. Today, we had Dr.John Berardi come into our gym to speak to us even further about nutrition and goal setting with our clients. An interesting point came up- do you set GOALS for yourself and if you expect your clients to it themselves and YOU don't, then how do you expect them to be successful? Rachel Cosgrove has written some awesome stuff on Goal Setting that might help put things into perspective for you if you need help setting your own goals. Don't limit goal setting to fitness either. Use these techniques that Rachel suggests for every facet of your life!
Setting SMART Goals
Before putting your goals down on paper, keep in mind that you want your goals to be S.M.A.R.T. which is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive. This acronym is great because you want to be “smart” when you set your goals. You want to intelligently decide what your goals will be so that you can actually accomplish them. You want to set goals that your heart conceives, your mind believes and that your body will carry out. Before writing out your goals let’s take a closer look at each of the components of S.M.A.R.T. goals:
Specific- Set specific goals. They have a more powerful impact on your subconscious than general goals. When you are specific, you set forces into action that will empower you to achieve your goals. You know exactly what it is you are shooting for. Never underestimate how important it is to have very specific, concrete goals.
Measurable- Set measureable goals. You must have a way to objectively measure your progress, otherwise you’ll never know whether you are getting closer to achieving your goal and ultimately whether you’ve actually reached it. First get a baseline performance to determine your actual ability before determining the desired or ideal goal level for you. Record and measure your improvement, review the measured outcomes and seek information on what you need help on. Make sure you are measuring your progress along the way to insure that you are on track. For example: If your goal is to complete an Olympic distance race in 24 weeks, at the 12 week mark you should be at least half way there so you should be able to swim a half mile, bike 12 miles and run a 5K. Keep track of your on going measurements to track your progress.
Attainable- One of the detrimental things that people do- and they do it with good intentions- is to set goals that are so high they are unattainable. It is very important to set big goals that excite you and motivate you, but it is imperative to make sure your goals are attainable. A good way to ensure that your goals are attainable is to break each goal down into short term goals. It is easier to commit to these small daily and weekly goals and reaching these will lead you to attain your big goal. As you begin to think about what you want to accomplish specifically, don’t just write down one goal, make an entire list. You should have short term and long term goals. Long term goals provide motivation and inspiration for training and performance efforts, but short term goals can provide specific strategies and techniques that will lead to goal attainment. If you only look at the big picture, it can sometimes be unsettling to realize how much farther you have to go. Set yourself clear daily, weekly and monthly goals. To reach your goals you must develop good habits everyday. You develop good habits by setting daily action goals and working on them repeatedly. Write out a list of daily goals, habits and to-dos you want to develop- this could include eating breakfast every morning, getting your training done, drinking your water, etc.
Realistic- Your goal also needs to be realistic which is different from attainable. You can set any goal you like, but it may not be realistic for you. A goal has to be something that you can reasonably make a reality in your life. There are some goals that simply are not realistic or are not realistic in the time frame you want to achieve them in. You have to be able to say, even if it is a huge goal, that it is entirely realistic and fits in with your priorities. This is totally up to the individual: a goal that is realistic for one person may be totally unrealistic for another. Be very honest with yourself as you look at your priorities and do your planning. You may want to start with a smaller goal that you know is realistic. Start with a sprint distance instead of the Olympic if you need to.
Timetable- Every goal you set should have a timeframe attached to it. A very powerful aspect of a great goal is that it has an end, a time in which you want to accomplish it. You should break your goal down into smaller deadlines to keep yourself on track and accountable. Also make sure the deadlines you set are realistic. There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Be careful not to limit your progress by trying to adhere to unrealistic timelines for achieving your goals. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete your goal but do give yourself a timeline so you have something to shoot for. A goal without a deadline is just a dream. With triathlon you’ll have to pick out your race and you should sign up for it so you absolutely have a deadline.
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