Setting Goals: Where Are You Going?

If you don't know where you're going, then how do you know when you've arrived?

Before beginning any exercise program, setting goals should be your first step.  It might be the most important element in the entire program!  Nutrition and exercise are confusing subjects.  There seems to be a ton of contradictory information out there.  When you're first starting out, the initial challenge is that you don't know what to do.  Once you learn what to do, the bigger challenge is taking that knowledge and applying it.  There's a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know.  And goals are there to bridge that gap.

A goal provides you with the motivation you need to move forward.  Goals give your subconscious a direction.  Your subconscious mind has a lot of control over your behavior.  If you've ever lacked the willpower to go to the gym or choose a healthy food option, it's because of your subconscious mind.  Goals work because they harness and direct the power of your subconscious mind, which guides your behavior.

 

How to set goals

Setting a goal may seem easy, but in order to be most effective, you should make your goals SMART.  SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound.  I'll go over each of these in detail.

  1. Specific - Avoid setting vague goals like "I want to lose weight" or "I want to run faster".  If your goals are too vague, you'll never know when you've accomplished them.  Set specific goals like "I want to lose 25 pounds" or "I want to get to 10% body fat".
  2. Measurable - In addition to being specific, your goals should be measurable otherwise you'll never know if you've actually reached it.
  3. Attainable - You goals should be something that you can actually achieve, but they should also be big goals.  If you weigh 300lbs, you wouldn't want to set a goal to weigh 150lbs in 6 months.  While that goal is specific and measurable, it's not possible to safely lose that much weight that quickly.  Set a big goal, but make sure it's still something that you can achieve.
  4. Realistic - Make sure that your deadlines are realistic.  I realistic rate of fat loss is about 1 to 2 pounds per week.  It's possible to lose more than that, but you're likely also losing water weight and muscle.  Make sure that your goals have a realistic deadline.
  5. Time bound - You should set long term and short term goals.  It's easier to start with the long term goals.  What type of body do you ultimately what to have?  Once you've established the long term goal, break it down into smaller term goals that will ensure you are on track to meet the bigger long-term goal.

Stop what you're doing right now and write down your goals.  Write your goals down on paper, don't just think about them.  Revisit them daily to ensure you are staying on track.  You'll be amazed at how much of an impact this simple step will have on your daily activities.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help setting your goals.  Good Luck!

Thanks!

Michael McGill

Uproar Athletics


Michael McGill
Michael McGill

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