Well - we've completed another trip around the sun on this giant orb, and as us humans are prone to do, we've become swept up in the need for rebirth - a "New Year - New Me." Many people wake up on New Years Day with a goal to be more healthy, get some exercise, make better choices - but most of you reading this have already taken the biggest step, which is committing to a program and making a habit of it. Whether or not that habit is CrossFit or another methodology is not important, but ensuring it becomes part of your routine is critical for success. However we're not here to talk about making a choice to be healthier - that is something everyone processes differently - but we are here to talk about goals (whether or not you call them resolutions!) and how to set them appropriately to move forward.
Most people have goals: Personal goals, career goals, financial goals; whatever they may be and however they may be laid out. Some people thrive with a plan in the back of their head, with miniature milestones, while others need to visualize and process them by writing them down, marking them off, and projecting their success outwards. Whatever your method, your goals need to be laid out appropriately in order for you to properly progress. Introduce "SMART" methodology. Many people are already familiar with this method, however here we will lay it out and make it more relevant to health and fitness.
S - Specific:
Your goals should be specific - focusing on one single item, rather than something intangible or overarching. For example, if you wanted to become more skilled in CrossFit, you would focus on a specific movement - eg a pull-up, a push-up, or a double under. This helps avoid getting stuck with a goal that has no boundary and therefore no way to be completed.
M - Measureable:
Your goals need to be measureable. Without a metric to measure whether or not you've completed a goal, it again becomes unbounded. There are many different ways to measure accomplishment, so make sure you think about all aspects if a goal doesn't feel right. In the gym, this might be as simple as a number of repetitions, or a target weight lifted. In life, it may be a goal weight, goal body fat percentage, or goal blood pressure. For some things it may be a simple yes/no, like buy a house, go back to school, or lay out a plan to grow your family.
A - Achievable:
Perhaps the most important part of a goal is ensuring it is achievable. Now by no means does this mean you shouldn't have "moonshot" goals, but consistently setting goals that cannot be achieved has a significant psychological effect and leads to unhealthy relationships with achievement. Your goals should be challenging but realistic based on your current situation and your end expectations. For some this may meaning that their goal of a muscle up (when they cannot do a pull-up) should be constrained to an initial goal of getting five un-assisted pull ups. Or perhaps their goal of buying a new house should instead be to save $500 a month to assist with a down payment. This is also tied to the "T" in SMART.
R - Relevant:
This seems self explanatory and perhaps needs no discussion, but it is important that you evaluate your goals based on their relevancy. You wouldn't set a goal to get to the CrossFit Games if that isn't something that pushes you forward in your life. Similarly if your blood pressure level is already very good, you wouldn't set a goal to lower it further just for the sake of doing it.
T - Time Bounded:
Another hole that many goal setters fall into is not setting clear time boundaries with their goals. If I set a goal to save $1,000, but do not put a clear start and end date, that drastically changes the amount I need to set aside. Sure, I can save $1,000 over ten years with less than $10 a month, but is this a sensible goal - and why am I saving the money? Make sure to put start and end dates on all goals, as this forces you to meet certain milestones and deadlines. Generally end of year resolutions are meant to be started on the 1st of the year and achieved by the end of the year, but for other types of goals, or goals that must be segmented into smaller pieces, this is critical.
Hopefully this helps you think about any goals you have planned for this year - whether or not they are fitness, health, financial, personal, etc - and guides you to more success than you could have imagined. And of course, if you have any health or fitness goals for 2020 but maybe aren't sure where to start, or how to appropriately make them "SMART", then reach out to us at email@example.com and we can help you out!