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Goal Setting - The How's And Why's

Goal Setting - The How's And Why's

Struggling to set goals?

If you’re beginning a venture into health and fitness it’s a great idea to have a specific goal to help navigate your way through the journey. But how on earth do you decide on the best goal for you?

Do not fear, below we will explain the importance of setting a goal personal to you and your life. You are going to learn how to set a SMART goal so you can smash those achievement in the most effective way possible. We will explore the importance of having a ‘why’ for your goal and explain what you do once you’ve boshed that goal.

The 'Why'

Setting a goal is one of many steps you will take towards being the person you want to become. That’s why it’s so important that the step of setting a goal has purpose and meaning. This is your ‘why’ the reason you are aiming for this goal, what you will keep coming back to when times get tough. There’s a few things to bare in mind when finding your why.

Inspiration is normally what sparks up the idea to set a goal but it is motivation that is going to allow you to carry that goal through. There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Your reasoning for your goal needs to come intrinsically. Intrinsic motivation is the idea that the reason for doing something gives you an internal reward, someone may go to the gym because it relieves stress and boosts their mood. Extrinsic motivation is the idea that someone’s reasoning for doing something is for external rewards. For example, completing a task for money rather than actually enjoying that task. It is important you have intrinsic motivation towards your chosen goal. If your goal is to lose 8lbs by your birthday, set that goal for your own self confidence, your own happiness. So you feel good in YOUR skin, NOT so you get complimented by others or because you want to impress others.

It is also important to try and build a deeper foundation for your goal. If you do lose 8lbs, yes you may look better but how are you going to feel? Will your life improve? If your reason for doing something is to improve your life, improve your confidence or improve your health, you have a much more solid foundation for the goal to be set upon. Setting goals solely on aesthetics, leaves an unsupported and feeble framework.

Your ‘why’ needs to be your anchor. All fitness goals have never been easy, so when you’re really struggling you need to turn to your ‘why’. Remember why you’re pursuing this goal, remind yourself of the internal rewards that will come with achieving this.

SMART Goals

You may have heard this acronym thrown about before. SMART stands for a list of principles you need to follow when setting a goal. Here at Flamin’ Fitness we want you to work smarter not harder!

So let’s start with the ‘S’- Specific. When setting as goal there is not point being vague, being as detailed as possible will allow you to focus and stay on track better. So instead of just light heartedly saying “my goal is to lose weight”. How MUCH weight? Instead of saying “My goal is to get fitter”. What specific part of your fitness do you want to improve? Getting right down to the nitty gritty is going to allow you to streamline your efforts to that specific destination.

Next is ‘M’- Measurable. Your goals need to be measurable. You need to take regular and accurate measurements of your progress so you can truly track how close you are to reaching your goal. Weight loss and weight gain goals are easily measurable, all you need is a set of scales. More performances based goals such as strength goals or a new 5K PB can also be measured easily. So instead of saying “My goal is to get fitter” try a measurable goal like, getting your resting heart rate down to 68, or to be able to run continuously for 30 minutes.

‘A’ - Attainable. Your goal needs to be attainable, meaning that you can keep up with it without causing yourself any harm or stress. Extreme measures lead to extreme disappointment. Once you have achieved your goal, can that be maintained? If you manage to lose the weight you wanted to, are you able to keep it off? Start with smaller, more achievable goals to begin with. Slow and steady does win the race in the long run.

‘R’ is for realistic. Your new fitness goal needs to somewhat easily achieved. It’s very unlikely that someone who has never ran a mile in their life sets a goal that they will completed a marathon in 4 weeks time. As well as being realistic, the goals need to be safe. Losing or gaining weight any faster than the recommended guidelines is not only unrealistic but can also be dangerous. Set a goal that is safe and guaranteed to be met if you put the man hours into it. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

‘T’ is the final piece of the puzzle. Referring to time. Your goals need to have a time frame surrounding them. Stay accountable to your goals by having a constant countdown. Tracking progress over time can also let you know how close you are to reaching that goal, it can be a good indicator whether we need to kick things up a gear or if we need to ease off.

A good example of a SMART goal would be “To lose 5 cm off my waist by 01/03/21”. Here we are specific (5cm), its measurable (tape measurement around the waist can be done weekly). It’s achievable (5cm isn’t a mass amount of fat to lose). It’s realistic (losing 5 cm off your waist circumference is a doable task by being in a sufficient calorie deficit). There is a time frame (the specific date allows for progress to be tracked accordingly to see how close or far off the deadline you are.

Flexibility

Along with setting a SMART goal with a deep reason behind it. We want to throw in a splash of flexibility. We are more than aware that your life is more than your newest fitness pursuit. You are more than a number on a scale or a stopwatch. You are a mother, father, son, daughter, friend or lover. You have other interests and responsibilities. So if life gets in the way of your newly formed goal, don’t stress. Goals can be adapted. Deadlines can be pushed back. Your goal is NOT the be all and end all of your life.

It is a great idea to get added support when setting yourself a fitness goal. Having a coach can be excellent to get a objective, external view of the goal and the progress. It’s also useful to have that added guidance when you do need to update or adapt your goals. If you’re struggling with goal setting, reach out to one of our coaches. They’ll be happy to troubleshoot any issues you’re having.

With flexibility in mind, having a rigid routine is not our idea of fun. As we’ve said hundred of times over, if something is not enjoyable, it is not attainable. We are not saying that reaching your specific fitness goal will be a walk in the park, there will be hard days. But if you are continually feeling stressed or down, the goal really isn’t worth it. It’s okay to have some time off from chasing your fitness goal. It’s okay to live your life a little. Flexible goals are goals more likely to be smashed!

Post Goal Smashing

So maybe you’ve met a goal or absolutely blown it out the park. What now? Well, at Flamin’ we are aiming to Fuel Forever Fitness. That means that just because you’ve met your goal, fitness doesn’t just stop.

You may have lost or gained all the weight you desired to do so, but that doesn’t mean that all the healthy habits you’ve picked up along the way need to be thrown out. It doesn't mean that you no longer need fitness.

You may have lost or gained all the weight you desired to do so, but that doesn’t mean that all the healthy habits you’ve picked up along the way need to be thrown out. It doesn't mean that you no longer need fitness.

Closing Thoughts

So to summarise, when setting a goal you need to make it SMART. This way you are much more likely to stick to it and actually achieve it. Your reasoning for setting this goal also needs to go deep beyond the surface of ‘looking better’ to anchor you down. That being said, there is no harm to take some time off form your goal chasing or even to mix your goal up. And don’t forget that your fitness journey doesn’t have a final destination, once one goal has been achieved that just opens up a multitude of new goals to explore.

For any further support on your personal fitness goals, fire a question over to one of coaches. Check out our customisable workout plans to see if they can aid your goal chasing journey.

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