New Years Resolutions vs Real Goal Setting

It’s late January and by now a significant number of people who set New Years Resolutions are already giving up. Have you set some fitness goals for 2014? How can you achieve them? What’s the secret of successful goal setting?

What I’m going to share today isn’t profound or new. It’s actually pretty old fashioned but it has persisted as a successful goal setting technique because it works. It’s a goal setting technique called SMART.

smart goal setting conceptSMART stands for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timebound

Here’s how it might apply for someone competing in a powerlifting competition.

The goal is improve my 1RM bench press.

Expressed as a SMART goal it would be:

I want increase my 1RM bench press from 140kg to 160kg by 30 June 2014 in preparation for a competition on 12 July 2014.

  • It’s specific as it says it’s a 1RM.
  • It’s measurable as I’m being specific about the end point of 160kg.
  • It’s achievable because I’ve done the research and know it can be done with hard work.
  • It’s relevant as it’s something I need for a competition.
  • It’s timebound as I’ve set a target date.

This approach also allows you to think more closely about milestones along the journey. As you have a specific goal and target date, you can set some scheduled mini-goals such as a 5RM of 125kg 40 days before the competition.

The trick is to motivate yourself with lots of little wins and rewards along the way. By doing that, your goal setting will be a motivator and not a blocker to longer term personal success.

set and reach goal concept

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