August is flying by!
Did you have personal or fitness goals at the beginning of summer? When I asked coaching/training clients in early June about their goals, some said, “I don’t know.” Some said, “ummmm…maintain?” Or, “lose a few pounds…”, “get toned…”.
When I first hired a trainer about 20 years ago I believed that I could keep running and doing occasional workout videos and maintain strength and fitness. That trainer couldn’t get me off the treadmill and stair climber, or away from the mat. No lifting. No plyometrics. I admit now that staying in my comfort zone was it was partly because I was scared to try unfamiliar things, and afraid of failure. Kettlebells, powerlifting – no way. I kept that mindset for a long time – my trainer was so patient. It was inconceivable to me then that I’d eventually become a coach/trainer myself, and train and win a powerlifting competition.
Goals that not clearly defined might be difficult to achieve.
It’s established that goals lead to success. Aspiration is a starting point, whether in performance, or health. But if you’ve agreed with your physician that weight loss is important for health reasons without a plan or within a specific time frame, it will be tough to succeed.
A personal best time or distance swimming, running, cycling, or rowing are specific and measurable goals- but if you haven’t set a timeframe to achieve that goal boredom might set in, and frustration might lead to quitting if the goal still seems far off and unachievable
If the goal is both measurable and time-bound, there’s much greater likelihood of success. Training to finish in a certain time in an upcoming race, to lift a specific weight in a competition, or to get strong and fit, and lose a certain number of pounds for a special occasion are measurable and time-bound goals.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound.
S.M.A.R.T goals will help lead to success, but do we have to check off all of the criteria? What about wanting to continue to rehab after a procedure, or a course of physical therapy for a knee, hip, shoulder…? Not necessarily a time-bound goal, but certainly relevant, and very likely attainable/achievable.
Do we have to have goals?
Many of us enjoy the social aspect of training, whether one-on-one with a coach, or in a group online, or in-person. We love movement for it’s own sake, for the endorphin rush, the feeling of elation that comes from finishing a tough workout, a bike ride, or a run. And of course there’s the benefit of a strong body, and the knowledge that we’ve done something great for our health. But still…
For lasting change, goals are key.
Start with small steps, prioritize your health in ways that fit your daily life, and be patient. You’ll be more likely to succeed in long-term deep health, and performance for life with goals that are S.M.A.R.T. You’ll be better able to hold yourself accountable, find out what you are capable of, and push through challenges, both mental and physical to make a longer-lasting change.
I’d love to talk with you about your goals and help you achieve them. There is no better time than now.
I’m here for you.