Here it is, 4 days away from January 1st and back to the same old stuff. Facebook posts about setting the new year off right, people asking what your news year’s resolutions are, or perhaps you’ve given up on the whole thing all together. While I’m not a huge believer in New Year’s Resolutions, I am a big fan of goals, milestones, or something to simply strive for in the new year. Maybe the way to look at this is not something you need to achieve but a way to start fresh.
I believe that having goals is a way to help you become a better you. We always say that we should create goals for CrossFit to help push yourself to be better but this can be done with anything.
When we say create goals, are you approaching it in a way to actually create a better you or do you simply write things down hoping that you’ll somehow find time to achieve them. Chances are if latter is how you’ve been doing it in the past you start off strong and then slowly life gets in the way.
As you may or may not know, most of us are pretty big believers in CJ Martin and CrossFit Invictus. While he does a great job of creating high level athletes, what some of you may not known is when he stumbled into CrossFit back in 2007 he was a lawyer, which makes him a pretty smart guy outside of CrossFit. Why is this important to you? CJ believes that the psychology and mental strength of an athlete is what will help you to your full potential.
He likes to use a method for setting goals known as S.M.A.R.T. goals. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, relevant and timely.
So let's start of by creating a goal so that we can walk through the stages in order to show how the process works. We’ll start with the biggest goal set every year, to lose weight. Now we can use this to break down each portion to see how to turn our new goal into a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
S - Specific
This will represent the “who” and the “what”. Here we’ve found the first mistake that we’ve made by not being specific enough. We started with a very general “I want to lose weight” but does that mean 1 pound, 5 pounds, 50 pounds? It’s incredibly hard to reach a goal without being specific. Therefore, we’ll change and say I would like to lose 20# this year in order to be more specific.
Now that we have a specific goal we can set some action steps in order to achieve our goal which may include, changing my daily diet, hiring a nutrition coach, adding more days to the gym. These action steps will look different for everyone based on their goals.
M - Measurable
Here is part I of the “How”. CrossFit is big on numbers and everything being measurable. This is why we test metcons and our lifts to see if our plan is working. So we have a plan to lose 20# this year therefore, we can easily step on the scale to see where we are and where we need to be.
A - Attainable
This is the “How” part II. Whatever goal you’ve set for yourself we can assume that it will take some change in your daily lifestyle to accomplish it. We talked earlier about how this may mean changing your diet, getting a nutrition coach or setting aside time in order to meal prep every week. Here is when you will decide which you step will help you best achieve this goal and will also allow you to set milestones later.
R - Relevant
This is probably the most important component of the goal setting process. This is the “why” you are trying to accomplish this goal. WIthout a clear why you may lack the depth to achieve your goal. This must be important to you, and must have real meaning. You should take time defining this and what it really means to you. You should also share this with people close to you in order to help hold you accountable.
T - TImely
Last is the “when”. This allows you to put a target date on your goals which sets up a timeline for you to follow. Now that we have a target date we can work backwards through our timeline creating milestones. If I want to lose 20# for the year then I need to lose 10# in 6 months to stay on track or about 1.75# every month. Setting these smaller milestones will make it easier for you to stay on track for the bigger picture.
If you google goal setting worksheets there are a few that come up but the best one online can be found here.
This is a process that should be looked at anytime that you would like to set a new goal for yourself. You should take some time to complete what you would like to achieve this next year and help set yourself up for success early. Any of the coaches at CrossFit 557 can easily help you with this is your goals are fitness related but remember, making yourself a better you doesn’t have to be related to fitness and this can work with any aspect of your life.