New Year’s Resolutions. Some people live by ‘em, swearing at the start of each new year that…
This year will be different.
This year will be the one.
This year, I’ll finally turn it around.
New Year, new you, right?!
But wonderful (cringe-worthy) sentiment aside, talk is cheap. Whether you’re setting New Year’s Resolutions, weekend goals or planning where you’ll be in 5 years, it’s always the same process. It starts in the mind, makes its way to paper, but the trick that turns it into reality is having a system in place. You can’t just write down a goal, walk away, and expect to get results. It’s not magic.
What you need, friend, is a plan. A step-by-step guide to show you how to set goals and achieve ‘em. Simple.
STEP 1: WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
Get a journal. Jot them down – or better yet, put them on a sticky note on a mirror. Make them visible. In sight. In mind. And the more in your face something is, the more concrete it becomes.
STEP 2: BE REALISTIC
When crafting goals, craft them for YOU – and craft them realistically. Ask yourself, what do I care about? What excites me?
If you’re struggling with some unwanted weight, wanting to lose 10kgs in a month is unrealistic, but 10kgs in a year is realistic. Think is called progressive thinking. It’s looking at the big picture and breaking it down into milestones.
STEP 3: BE SPECIFIC
Don’t just declare something vague like, ‘I’m going to get better on the assault bike’, or ‘I want to work on my overall strength.’
That’s not specific. If you want to work on strength, what needs to improve? Identify those movements and write down how you’re going to improve them.
Another way to guide your goal setting is to look at benchmark goals. Instead of focusing on numbers or weights, ask your coach to help you with percentages and then stick to that (we know what we’re talking about). For example, if strength is your focus, start writing down where your weights are currently at for bench press, squat, and deadlift. Then sit down with a coach and make a plan around how to increase those lifts.
STEP 4: MAKE YOUR GOALS MEASURABLE
You have a specific goal? Great, get excited. Now it’s time to start measuring and tracking your progress. To show you how simple this can be, we’ll use your strength goal again as an example:
Odds are you’re benching, deadlifting, and squatting once a week in order to increase strength over time. Create a chart and when you take the time to work on those lifts, check off that box. This idea comes from James Clears’ concept ‘What we measure, we improve’.
Instead of focusing on “I want to be stronger, Which is an “outcome goal”, you want to focus on a “process goal” to actually see results. An example process goal would be “deadlift, squat, and bench once per week for the next 12 weeks.” It’s specific, measurable, and attainable.
Put in the work weekly and check off the boxes. As weights increase, you’ll start to see progress and feel closer and closer to finally achieving being stronger.
STEP 5: SHARE YOUR GOALS
Tell people about your goals. As the joke goes: How can you tell if someone does ROARK? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
If you’re not the type to make a sign that says, “I’m going to be stronger this year, that’s fine. At the very least, cue in the coaches, maybe a few gym mates – and definitely your dog.
The more people who know, the more accountable you are and the more likely you’ll be at sticking to it. Plus, the greater your chances of getting some tips and coaching along the way, which brings me to the next step…
STEP 6: GET SUPPORT
Goals are going to remain goals, and not achievements if you’re too scared to ask for help. It’s easier to climb a mountain with a team than alone.
This doesn’t mean that you should approach your coach and fitness friends expecting to get a year-long customised training plan or an in-depth macro breakdown, but if and when you’re feeling stuck, approach a coach with specific questions.
On that note: Don’t pull a coach out of class mid-workout and ask how you can do better on squats. Instead, try something like this before or after class:
“Hey Coach, I’m stuck on getting out of the bottom of squats. Do you know any great drills for this? Can we work together during ‘open’ gym tomorrow?”.
STEP 7: The Grand Finale
So you FINALLY snagged that double body weight deadlift you worked on for months?
FANTASTIC, bravo. Take a look back at all of that hard work, the checked boxes, and be proud. Celebrate it with friends and coaches… and then start thinking about what you’re hungry for next.
Remember, the best goals are the ones that are tailored for you, and maximize happiness and contentment as a human. Don’t just set random goals – set goals that are going to make you PROUD when they are finally achieved.