New Year is a traditional time for setting goals, but busy people need a different approach.
New Year, new you? I think it’s more important for New Year to herald a “new” way of doing things that haven’t quite worked in the past. And this starts with the way you set goals.
In my experience, the most common goal setting methods aren’t suitable for really busy, driven people like you. They’re either unrealistic, not exciting, or pile on more pressure to your already-stressful life.
Goal setting is meant to be a way to streamline the path to success. Let’s look at better ways to set fitness goals for the year ahead.
Does the SMART approach still work?
The SMART acronym was developed by business consultants in the 80s, and the world has changed a lot since then. But its basic premise is still sound. Here’s how I like to use SMART with my clients.
Specific – don’t set wishy washy fitness goals. Make sure your goal has numbers attached to it (dates, times, speeds, distances, weights…)
Measurable – data is core to progress, so make sure you know what to track and how you will track it.
Achievable – I encourage my client to take a bird’s eye view of their life in order to set goals that are achievable with the time, resources, support and skills they’ve got
Relevant – time is precious, so make sure your goal is personal and exciting enough to resonate with you
Time-bound – it’s amazing how much you can achieve in a short amount of time with the right advice and support
Macro and micro goal setting
Some people can get away with setting vaguer goals and chipping away throughout the year. I strongly believe that this is an unrealistic approach for busy people who are juggling a career or business ownership, family, kids, and property.
Once you have set your main goal for the year (to lose X amount of weight by X date, to run a marathon in September, to reverse your health condition and get off medication…) you must break it down into quarters, months, and weeks.
The power of a calendar
This is the game-changer that could make all the difference to your 2022 fitness goal. Get a large piece of paper or a blank 2022 calendar. Mark any holidays, weekends away, events, busy periods at work, family commitments, travel. Then mark any regular commitments that aren’t set in stone, but would be nice to keep in.
You can now see exactly how much space and time you have to dedicate to your goal. This is really important, otherwise you could merrily commit yourself to mini goals that are unachievable, leading you to “fall off the wagon” by week two. Make sure the wagon and the road ahead are realistic!
From here, I suggest you work in quarters, then months, and then weeks. Identify the mini goals you will need to hit along the way (quarterly or monthly). Then pencil in key actions like training sessions, Personal Training sessions, races, events.
Block this time out in your paper or electronic calendar, using the “repeat” function when necessary. You can now see your goal, actions, and habits throughout the year.
My high level Private Training and Online Coaching is dedicated to helping the busiest and most successful people achieve their health and fitness goals.
Drop me a line to talk about how I can help you get fitter and healthier in 2022.
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