Many times people don’t know what they can realistically expect when they set out to achieve a leaner, fitter, healthier body. This series of blogs is designed to break the process down into bitesize chunks. Add them all together and you are on your way to the body of your dreams.
STEP 1…SET A GOAL:
If you haven’t got a goal how can you measure you success?
Setting goals is a skill in itself.
Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timeframed):
Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Walk around at 8% body fat at 90kg body weight.”
Measurable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.
When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continue the effort required to reach your goal.
EXAMPLE: Measure body fat every week, scale weight, number of repetitions at a set weight, etc.
Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true.
You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.
You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain almost any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.
Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.
When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
Realistic/Relevant – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.
IMPORTANT – Setting a realistic goal doesn’t mean it should be easy!
A goal can be both lofty and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
In fact, set a goal that scares you a bit. Getting out of your comfort zone is where real progress happens.
Reaching a high goal is often more successful than chasing a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.
Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame.
With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency.
If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But, if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.
When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and, therefore, attainable.
When consulting with clients I further categorise goals into 3 types:
1: Process goals
2: Performance or training related goals
3: Outcome goals.
In reality process goals aren’t really goals, in that accomplishing/doing them isn’t something to be celebrated or rewarded. In order to achieve the all-important performance goals and outcome goals you have set for yourself, there are certain processes or daily task specific objectives that you’ll need to carry out.
It’s these small processes that are going to push you closer and closer to achieving the bigger performance related goals and outcome goals.
Performance or training related goals are crucial to your success.
A performance goal is the end performance you hope to achieve. For example, running the marathon in sub 4 hours or squatting 2.5 times bodyweight in your powerlifting meet.
These will help keep you focused and passionate about your training. When you are in the gym, you are not just training, you are training to perform.
If you are like most people you’d obviously like to perform to the best of your capabilities.
Set goals to lift heavier weights, or do more reps using a certain weight.
If at present you’re unable to perform, or haven’t yet mastered, bodyweight exercises such as chin ups, bar dips, pull ups and push ups, set a goal to master any of them or all of them within a certain time frame.
Finally we have ‘outcome’ goals. These are results kinda goals.
For example, I want to win the British Jiu-Jitsu championships or, come in the top 10 at the London Triathlon, or win the tall class in the Men’s Physique category.
These are often goals that too many people set and focus on without realising they need to follow through on those daily processes in order to achieve them.
After all you can’t control what your competition does. Instead focus on controlling what you can (e.g., your training, nutrition and recovery), perform to the best of your ability and then you put yourself in the best position for the outcome you desire.
The key with ‘outcome’ goals is to ensure that you’re working towards an outcome that you really, really want. An outcome that you want and are emotionally connected to, and, willing to make big sacrifices to achieve.
When it comes to transforming your body, focus on the process goals and the performance and outcome goals will invariably take care of themselves.