Goals & Expectations
Over the years at CrossFit Serenity we have had over 1000 people as members of our gym. In the beginning, we didn’t do everything right to help those people achieve success. Our heart was in the right place, but like everyone else we made some mistakes. But, we’ve learned from those mistakes and have adjusted our processes to enable our members to have the best chance of success in achieving their goals. So, just how should we approach goal setting??
So what should you do in order to give yourself the best chance to make a change in your health & wellness? First, you must have some type of goal. For example, “I want to lose the 20 pounds I’ve put on since having kids.” This checks the first box when setting goals, it’s specific.
In order to make a goal more specific, it should also be measurable. In our example above, we have done just that. I can get on the scale and see how I have progressed and when I weigh 20 pounds less, I know I have accomplished my goal.
This one is probably even more important than being specific. There are many things to consider when determining if a goal is realistic FOR YOU.
You must look deep within yourself and determine what exactly you are willing to do, in order to move towards your goals. One of the biggest factors that influences whether or not a goal is realistic is the level of effort you’re willing to put in. You have to be realistic about this level of effort. Chances are that this will change for the better over time as you experience intermediate levels of success. But what are you willing to do TODAY?
Another example; Losing 100 pounds in 3 months isn’t a realistic goal, nor is it healthy. However, losing 12 pounds in 3 months is realistic and falls in line with a healthy rate of loss at 1 pound per week.
Are all of the variables within your control? Is it realistically achievable?
A personal example. Goal: I would like to squat 400 pounds. Reality: I am a 48 year old male and have had 3 knee surgeries on my left knee. I have two children under the age of 10, both of whom participate in sports. My wife and I both own small businesses. I’ve never squatted above 335 pounds.
There could be a scenario where I could achieve that goal. However, I would have to train extensively, sleep 8+ hours every night, get massage therapy weekly, and eat perfectly. Currently, I am lucky if I get to work out 3x per week and get 8 hours of sleep more than twice a week. A more realistic and attainable goal for me is to be able to squat 300 a couple times a year.
It is ok to have a pie in the sky goal, but you cannot be discouraged when variables outside of your control delay or prevent achieving a goal. Additionally, you have to consider how that goal affects your overall quality of life and your family system. You will have to make some sacrifices, just make sure you don’t sacrifice your values.
This one goes along with being specific. It shouldn’t be open ended. You can even have a single goal with multiple time domains.
Short term - weeks or months
Mid-term - a few months to a year.
Long term = long term = forever. Example: I want to be healthy, stronger, and able to do what I want when I’m 70.
Grace - Primarily for yourself when you have a “slip”. Teaching moments are part of any process in which you are learning something new. You should forgive yourself and develop the ability to instantly get back on track.
Forgiveness - This is for those around you (family, friends, co-workers) who may not be invested in your goal. Hopefully, you have surrounded yourself with people who support you and your vision for yourself. If you haven’t, a willingness to set boundaries with these individuals .
Resilience - the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Sacrifice - an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
The key takeaway is that you must have a specific goal that you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve. There will be setbacks along the way and this is ok. You will learn more about yourself through the process and this will likely be the most essential piece that you carry with you forever.
We sit down with people every month and we talk about their goals. All of these people tell us what their goals are, but very few actually take the next step. The next step requires action. This is often the most difficult part. Most of us know what we want for ourselves but taking the steps to make that happen is more difficult.
Setting goals for oneself is great. But it is only the beginning. In order to make progress towards your goals you must also decide to take action. It does not have to be zero to 100 in the first week. Small, simple changes are actually a more effective and long lasting way to implement new habits. So start small NOW and do one thing for yourself.