How To Smash Your Fitness Goals!!
What Are Goals?
It’s nothing new but often overlooked. Setting a goal will drastically improve your chance of reaching a desired outcome. It sounds really obvious. However, it might surprise you to hear that many people go to the gym or partake in fitness activities with no real goal in mind, without any real objective.
If you think about any task you do, whether simple or complex, there is usually a goal at the end of it. For example, most weeks you perform a simple task in writing a shopping list with the intention of buying those items because you need them. You know whether you’ve been successful once you’ve checked them off against the list. Without that list there is an increased likelihood you might forget something which equates to not achieving your goal.
The same principle can be applied to fitness. Having a goal and writing it down somewhere you can check it helps you to plan what you need to do to achieve it. So you don’t end up in the gym wandering around wondering what exercise to include in your session.
Not having a goal also makes it hard to know what you’ve achieved or what you’re trying to achieve. You might think you’re doing all the right things, but in reality you’re focussing too much time on one aspect of your fitness and not enough on another. Fitness goals are important as they help us to stay aligned and do the workouts we might skip if left to our own devices.
The mind is an incredible tool but subconsciously it can deceive us. For example, if you don’t like leg days, it’s easy to forget the last time you did a leg strength session. Without a goal you might think “I did a leg session last week, that’s okay,” but in actual fact it was 2 weeks ago, and now you’ve neglected it again and your overall strength is lacking.
However, if you regularly check your fitness goals, you’ll quickly realise that you’re not on target with leg strength like you are in other areas. Without your written fitness goals, you won’t notice it until your friend’s start making sarcastic comments about your chicken legs.
Fitness goals are perhaps the best form of maintaining motivation for exercise. Short term goals give you a sense an immediate target to focus on while long term goals keep your overall objective in mind, striving for higher achievements. When you reach your goals, tick them off against your list and make new ones. In my experience, being able to do that provides a great sense of satisfaction and extra motivation to start on the next goal.
Reasons Why We Should All Set Goals!
1. Take Control of Your Life
Many people today are sleepwalking through life. Even though they work hard, they don’t feel like they are getting what they want. That’s because they don’t have a direction of where they want to go, what they want to achieve. Students graduate and they’re not sure what to do with their life; adults work for years and are shocked when they reach their 30s/40s and they don’t know what to do next.
As Bill Copeland says, when you don’t set goals, you can spend your whole life running up and down and not achieve anything. In reality you’re just fulfilling others’ goals, not yours. It can be the fast food industry telling you to eat fast food because you’re “lovin’ it.” It can be the consumer goods industry telling you that you need this shampoo with 79% frizz-reduction formula because it’ll make your life better. It can be fashion labels getting you to buy their clothes because you supposedly look cooler in them.
When you stop to set goals and think about what you want, you break out of auto-pilot and start living a life of your conscious creation. Instead of letting others tell you what to do, you proactively take charge and think about what you want for yourself.
2. Motivates You
When you set goals, you connect yourself with your innermost desires. They help motivate you and give you something to strive for. This is especially powerful if you’re not in a good place in life at the moment — your goals help remind you of the things you love, to redirect your focus away from the negative obstacles, and to reconnect you with your innermost desires.
To quote Henry Ford, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” When you are feeling negative and down, it’s often because you feel you’ve nothing worth looking forward to. Your goals are the rainbow to strive for, to push you out of the storm.
If I ever lose motivation, I would meditate and focus on some of the most important goals in my life, such as all the people I wish to reach out to and help in the world. I would visualize the scenario with full clarity, as if it is happening now. This connects me with my inner self right away as I remember my WHY (my deepest motivation), after which I’ll feel energized and get to work right away.
3. Live Your Best Life
Last but not least, goals ensure that you get the best out of life.
Whether you want this or not, time will pass in your life. In 1 year’s time, you’ll be 1 year older. In 5 years’, you’ll be 5 years older. Goals with specific measures and deadlines ensure that you are maximizing your experience on earth. If you have already discovered your lifes purpose your goals will help you get the best out of your purpose.
Imagine this: The world is your oyster. There are millions, billions of things you can do, experiences you can have, and people you can encounter. There are endless possibilities of what you can accomplish. What if you can do whatever you want? What do you want to achieve? What do you want to see, do, and experience in your life? Set your goals, make them happen, and watch as you create your best life ever.
The Golden Rules To Help You Achieve ANY goal
1. Set Goals That Motivate You
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an "I must do this" attitude. When you don't have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive "I can't do anything or be successful at anything" frame of mind.
2. Set SMART Goals
You have probably heard of Smart Goals already. But do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be:
- Time Bound.
Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is simply defined as "To reduce expenses" how will you know when you have been successful? In one month's time if you have a 1 percent reduction or in two years' time when you have a 10 percent reduction? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.
3. Set Goals in Writing
The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year," not "I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year." The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.
4. Stick With It!
Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.