At the start of the year, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Everyone begins to set goals for themselves, goals for every area of their life, from their education, career, relationships and the most common amongst those aged 28 and above, health and fitness. Yes, health and fitness ranks as one of the top goals set in 2015 according to nielson.com. However, what’s even more surprising is that of all the goals set out at the start of the year, only 50% or less manage to achieve them or stick to their resolutions.
As a CrossFit Box, we want you to set goals which are realistic and resolutions which are maintainable. It is great and good that everyone is out to make 2016 the fittest year of their lives. However, making it a successful one in terms of goal setting and achievements is a totally different story. We want you to end 2016 with a success rather than disappointment. So how do we do that? Here, we’re going to list a few tips which would be helpful in setting those fitness goals for 2016.
1. Setting specific goals
Now this first point isn’t rocket science at all. In fact, it’s a very common tip in setting any goal at all. Be specific. You
want your fitness goals to be as specific as it gets. For the many whom have gone through our Fundamental Class, we’ve talked about quantitative fitness and not just a feeling or a shape or size. So no, saying “I want a six pack” might not be the best goal, though it does sound enticing. Yes, weight does play a part but beyond just that number on the scale, we want to see what you can do with your body. Make sure that the goals you set are quantifiable and measurable, that’s the best way to make them specific. They might not sound as sexy but they work. (Compare “I want to be as fit as Rich Froning” to “I want to do a 20 round Cindy”)
So for the health goals, it could be as simple as reducing the percentage of body fat or reducing the amount of blood sugar in your body. Now we said specific so get down to the detail, what is the level of low? Set a specific number and target for that. If you’re unsure of that, simply approach your family physician and they’ll be more than happy to help you out with that! Now along with those vital signs, we want to see how you improve in terms in your fitness too. So set some goals for yourself. To many, it could be getting that elusive first Muscle Up, or Pull Up. Or it could be doing one of those benchmark workouts and hitting a certain time. Now those are great goals but once again, let’s be specific. Getting your first Muscle Up, great! But how do you want that Muscle Up to be done? Strict or Kipping? Same for that pull up. Even for that Benchmark workout, are you going to do it Rx’d or are you going to scale it as you have done before? The more specific you get, the better you are at framing your goals and working towards them through the year.
2) Set your own goals
This might sound really odd to you but yes, set your own goals. With the rise of social media and the influences it has on everyone, it’s easy to get caught in the wave and desire to shoot for the stars.
Following people like Annie Thorisdottir and Ben Smith on instagram is going to make you think that doing 10 Muscle Ups in a row is a piece of cake. Very quickly, you pen that down in a conservative manner, “To do 5 strict Muscle Ups by the end of the year”. You pen this down when you haven’t gotten a single strict pull up yet. So yes, that might not be the best goal to set. Set Goals which are relevant to you, don’t get distracted by social media or even your friends. Set goals which you feel are realistic and attainable to you.
3) What does it take to reach the goal?
With the pursuit of every goal comes sacrifice. Nobody is going to reach their goals by living their lives as they have always done. Reaching goals, especially those that need a little more stretch (Ie. Fitness Goals) require more effort than normal. In doing so, we must be realistic with ourselves. The goals might be attainable no doubt but how much sacrifice does it demand from you and can you commit to it? If you want to be able to do the workout “Helen” in 10 minutes and right now you’re averaging 15 minutes, any Coach is going to tell you that you’re going to need to put in much more effort than what you’re already doing. This could mean increasing the number of workouts you do a week from 2 to 4 or maybe 5 and being consistent with it. This question addresses your goal's frequency. If reaching your goal requires five workouts a week, but you can only get off work early two days a week, then you need to scale back your goal. Be realistic about what time you have to devote to the goal and be honest about your fitness level. Building your fitness base takes time, and being smart about increasing it will help you stay injury-free.
4) Break up the Goal
Now this is going to be something that is really forgotten especially if you get caught in chasing the goal every other day. You want to take a step back once in a while to evaluate your progress and if need be, modify that goal just by a bit. If your goal is to do 20 strict pull ups by the end of the year and you realize, shucks by June you’ve only got 3 going on then perhaps it would be wise to scale down the goals just by a bit.
Conversely, if you realise that by June, you’ve got 18 pull ups, then perhaps it’s time to aim higher and shoot for more. A goal that’s either far in the future or far out of your comfort zone can be tough to start, so break the resolution down into achievable steps. Better yet, give yourself several small resolutions throughout the year. For instance, instead of aiming to add 80 pounds to your back squat in a year, aim to add just over six pounds per month. Easier, right?
As what Abraham Lincoln said, if I had 10 days to chop a tree, I’d spend 9 days sharpening my axe and only 1 working hard at it. So here we are at the start of the year, take some time to sit down and pen some of those fitness goals down.