Setting goals give you long-term vision while keeping you constantly motivated. Goals provide focus for the effort you’re applying, and the sense of accomplishment upon attaining those goals establishes a healthy feedback loop that further drives motivation. But the goals you set must be smart, and the actions you implement to achieve them must be relevant.
I’ll delve into setting smart goals in another post. Today, I’d like to talk about actions that are relevant to the goals you set. While this information is directed to health and fitness, I think applies to other areas in life too.
In fitness, especially, the actions people implement in lieu of the goals they have set are often misdirected. It probably has a bit to do with all of the confounding information out there along with a perception of what seems to be working for others. So, a reality check: Unless you have the relevant experience and education in health and fitness, you’re probably working towards your goals ineffectively.
There are a couple of classic examples.
“I want to tone up (lean out).”
Spends lots more time doing slow, long distance efforts (“cardio” / sweat fests / endurance-based). Tries to burn more calories than consumed based on some sort of calorie counting method, and cuts dietary fat consumption to reduce caloric intake. Also wants to avoid putting on any muscle.
“I want to get stronger.”
Adds in more “strength training,” typically in the form of a squat program. Uses the prescribed loads (or more) in metcons to “go heavier” at the sacrifice of intensity. Doesn’t want to sacrifice other aspects of fitness so is sure to throw in conditioning work after the “strength training.”
There’s another strong trend that is evident in people with misdirected actions for their goals – they typically have short-term views and are therefore looking for quick fixes. They throw all eggs into a basket to chase a short-term goal, go bust for a while thereafter (and not having really accomplished the goal), before booming again on another target, and then bust again. Boom-bust, all-or-nothing – they’re the same traits!
Ineffective, and often counter-intuitive. But if you’re going it alone, then that is expected. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone!
All new members now start with goal setting, at their very first meeting with us. Goal achievements, goal resetting and consistency in working towards goals is then tracked by our Client Services Managers, coach Zuleikha at HQ and Carl at EAST. And if you’ve been a member since before these systems were introduced, you just need to get in touch to get that support. But seek out the guidance and support of a coach, because unless you have the relevant experience and education in health and fitness, you’re probably working towards your goals ineffectively.
Goal setting under guidance tends to be more realistic, but it’s good to understand the goal setting process so I’ll cover that in the next post.