Achieving Goals – We all know how to do it right?
The term Goal Setting is synonymous with the fitness industry and is the practice of setting a target to achieve so that our endeavours have direction.
Historically, good practice of goal setting is said to follow the SMART principles.
S – Make the Goal Specific – for example the goal of losing fat is not specific, losing 14lb of fat is.
M – Measureable – make the goal measureable so that you know when you have achieved it.
A – Achievable – Goals need to be something you can actually achieve.
R – Realistic – Goals should be realistic. Losing 14lb in 8 weeks might be realistic, losing 14lb in 3 days is not.
T – Timed – Goals should have a start and end point – so you know how long you have to achieve it.
This is the standard format for setting SMART goals.
How to Improve on SMART
Here at Train Strong I use a slightly different and in my experience, more effective process in achieving goals.
Let use the example of a SMART goal of losing 14lb of body fat within a 12 week period.
This goal satisfies all of the above criteria.
Its called an Outcome Based Goal.
There is a problem. The outcome based goal is missing a vital ingredient.
The HOW TO get to it.
This is where another important element comes in when achieving goals – they are called Process Goals.
Think of Process Goals as Habit Goals – Goals that once achieved can, over time, lead us to achieving goals and reaching the end zone – the Outcome Goal.
Outcome Based Goal of losing 14lb of body fat in 12 weeks.
Process Goals might include:-
- Increasing protein intake
- Increasing vegetable and fruit intake
- Drinking 2-3 litres of water daily
- Training for 3 to 5 hours per week
- Working to achieving 7-8 hours sleep per night
- Spending time engaging in stress reducing practices such as meditation/deep breathing
These Process Goals are all Habit based Behaviour goals that once owned, pave the way for achieving the Outcome Goal.
Something to bear in mind when working towards achieving goals is to understand that once a goal is set, try not to become overly attached to the outcome.
Simply and gently work towards the process habits employing daily strategies that support the desired goal but without stress, obsession and over thinking.
Too Much Too Soon = Overwhelm
A simple and effective way to start is to identify one habit. Work ONLY on that habit for 7 to 14 days. Once it’s achieved with relative ease introduce the next new habit.
This simple approach works brilliantly. It’s sustainable, easy and relatively stress free! Patience is crucial – but thats OK! There is no rush.
If you go off track slightly it doesnt mean all is lost. It certainly doesnt mean we need to give ourselves a hard time. All that is needed is to see what went wrong, become aware of that and then simply and easily continue back on the habits – without stress.
Progress is relatively simple to master – consistency is THE most important element towards the achieving goals.