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What are we training for?

If you were asked what is your fitness goal what would your answer be like? Would you say “I want to be able to complete 50 concurrent pushups in a row” or would you say “I want to get fit?” Those of us whose goals are a little more ambiguous, for example “get fit”, will still no doubt achieve results, but those whose goals are SMAR​T will have an extraordinary advantage.

I have never been much of a fitness goal setter myself, I have simply attended classes and selected workouts because I enjoy them. But at the start of the year while attending a regular lunchtime BODYPUMP® class, my Instructor chanted out the motivational phrase “make 2015 the year you do push ups on your toes”. I thought “yeah! I am up for the challenge.” This would be my new goal! So employing some of my learning’s from university days I turned to SMART goals.

What are SMART goals?
Derived from a famous Management Review article in the 1980’s, SMART goals have been a successful management tool used for many years. The mnemonic acronym stands for 5 important elements of successful goal planning.

Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
Achievable – specify goals that are reachable.
Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

For example, “I want to be able to complete 50 concurrent push-ups by 1 June” or  “I want to compete in City to Surf this year and run the entire 14km.”  

Why should you commit to a goal?

  1. Motivation: working towards a real and measurable goal is a lot more motivating than working towards a vague idea.
  2. Celebrate your wins: Having concrete goals means that you know how you are tracking and what progress you are making. For example “I can now do 25 concurrent push-ups, I am halfway there!”
  3. Hold yourself accountable: On the days where you really don’t want to get out of bed to hit the gym a time specific goal can hold you accountable. Bets are on you lying there awake thinking “June is only 4 weeks away, I should really get up otherwise I might not achieve my goal”. 

How do I get there?

So we have covered the what and the why, but  how do you actually get from A to B? Break it down. Let’s use my goal as an example, “I want to be able to complete 50 concurrent push-ups by 1 June”; I have just under 3 months to get from 15 push ups to 50! So instead of just aiming straight for 50, I aim for smaller goals in the lead up to 1 June.

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Reward yourself
The sweet success of achieving your goal is usually reward enough but it doesn’t hurt to sweeten the deal. Choose your reward when you make your goal so you know what you will be working towards. I find the promise of an aromatherapy massage is incentive enough for me!

You know goal setting is valuable if you want to achieve some steadfast results, then what are you waiting for? Get planning!

Want to know more about starting new fitness endeavours the smart way? Visit here