This weeks blog has been written by Mel Anderson.
Traditionally, this is the time of year for people to set themselves new goals, especially those related to health and fitness, and the team at UR are no exception.
In 2017, I used the UR process of goal setting to successfully gain my SMK1 certification and I’d love to share this set of tools with you to help you achieve your own milestones this year.
But first, let’s talk a little about goal setting. What does it really mean and why do so many people get it wrong? Goal setting is the process of deciding what you want to accomplish and devising a plan to achieve it. Following the steps outlined at the end of this blog will prevent the January Resolution becoming the February Disillusioned!
In sport there are three types of goals – outcome, performance and process. Separating these goals will help you organise your thought process and allow you to focus on what you want to accomplish.
- Outcome goals are big picture goals and are largely out of our control. “ I want to be the strongest in the competition”.
- Performance goals are specific to what you are trying to achieve and support your outcome goals. “I want to deadlift 100kg by April 2018”.
- Process goals are the small steps you take to get to the performance and outcome goals during each training session. They are the specific details of each session and are completely in your control. “This Thursday, I will deadlift 60kg for 8 reps and 5 sets with a rest period of 2 minutes”.
Typically, people over emphasise outcome and performance goals at the expense of process goals. This is one of the main reasons for failure.
Here are some other potential reasons for failure…
Lack of planning – this stage is crucial. Not enough time or energy spent here is a common error.
The goal wasn’t important enough to you – maybe it was driven by others’ expectations of you rather than what YOU really want.
The goal wasn’t challenging enough – a study in the 1960s by Dr. Edwin Locke revealed that goals that were too easy didn’t motivate people enough. He concluded that more challenging goals felt more rewarding.
The goal was too overwhelming – a goal can also be too challenging. Often, we don’t consider the impact on our lives, family, work or energy levels and the goal is just too far to reach.
The goal wasn’t specific enough – “I want to lose weight” isn’t clear enough. After all, once you’ve lost one pound – you’ve lost weight, right? Be specific. Use times, dates, measurements etc so you are 100% clear on your progress.
Lack of tracking, reviewing and revising – without tracking your progress, you’ll have no idea how well you’re doing.
Inappropriate time frames – expecting to lose a stone a week is unrealistic and unsafe. Sometimes goals need to be ‘chunked down’ to more manageable bitesize goals.
Here are some tips to get you on track to successfully setting and reaching your goals this year.
- TIME – The initial process can take time but it’s well worth the effort. Clear your diary for a few hours, make notes, write a draft, revisit and review the goals to make sure they feel important enough. Don’t finish this step until you feel passionate and excited about the goals you’ve set for yourself.
- PLANNING SYSTEM – Use a system to plan your goals. At UR, we use the CREATE system. This gives you guidance on how to structure your goals so they are powerful and meaningful. You can find out more about the CREATE system from one of UR trainers.
- COMMITMENT – Understand the pros and cons of striving for this goal. What will you gain? How will you feel after completing this goal? Be honest about the sacrifices you will need to make in order to reach the goal. We use the Pain/Pleasure matrix to help walk you through this part of the process.
- PROCESS – Focus on the process. What do you need to do daily, weekly, monthly in order to reach the goal? Take some time to document weekly training sessions or eating plans before you get started.
- OBSTACLES/EXCUSES – What things typically get in the way of you following your ‘process goals’? Be brutally honest. How many of these are real and how many are just excuses that you are prone to making? Think about the antidote to these obstacles/excuses. Right down what you will say to yourself, how you will motivate yourself through challenging times and how you will overcome obstacles when they present themselves.
- FEEDBACK AND TRACKING – Schedule time in weekly to analyse and track your progress. Use some form of system to record your efforts. This could be an app, a training log or journal, whatever works best for you. Share your goals with a friend or a trainer and get feedback on how you’re doing. Chunk your goals down and give yourself little rewards for reaching each milestone.
- NOW – Record where you are now. If it’s a weight goal, record your full stats. If it’s a strength or speed goal, describe your current ability. Often the gains or losses we make each week can be small, which can make it tough to stay motivated. At times like this, it’s good to step back and look at the bigger picture to see how far you’ve come.
Now you have a solid plan in place, you’ve made sure it’s important and that it excites you. You’ve thought about possible obstacles and how you’ll overcome them and you have a foolproof tracking system in place to keep you accountable. All that’s left to do is to follow it. Good luck.
For those of you needing a little more help with the goal setting process, we have a free workshop on Saturday 20 January 1-2pm. Please let us know if you’d like to attend.
If you would like any information about Unique Results and our memberships please click here or call Nikki or Steph on 01245 392139.
Yours in health,