“But I want to squat double BW or 5 strict pull-ups ..." – Yeah, yeah, I heard you tell me. Maybe we should write them down and make a goals board. Some I have heard are great...others need to follow the SMARTER goal setting template.
When constructing our goals for the new year it would behoove you to think about utilizing the following SMARTER template
You’re goals should be extremely Specific. Let’s say your goal is to get muscle-ups. On the surface this might seem like a specific goal, but when you delve more deeply into it you will realize that it is inherently vague. What kind of muscle-ups are we talking about here? Are we looking to get 1 strict, false grip muscle up or a bar muscle up? If you create ambiguous goals, like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get back in to shape” or “I want to be good at Crossfit”, you will quickly realize that it is impossible to judge whether or not you achieved that goal. Specific goals help you to create specific, realistic actions plans to progress towards that goal.
Your goals need to be Measurable. Saying, “My goal is to get stronger”, is not a measurable goal. Goals must be stated in quantifiable terms, or otherwise they’re only good intentions. A goal that is measurable allows us to chart our progress toward that goal, as well as know definitively that we have reached that goal. “My goal is to deadlift 300 pounds” is a measurable goals because it is quantifiable. If you only pull 290, you know that still have some work to do to reach your goal.
Your goals need to be Attainable. When getting goals, they need to be within the realm of possibility of completion given the available resources. If I set a goal of deadlifting 600 lbs @ 170 lbs bodyweight, You are probably going to set yourself up for failure. Note: ATTAINABLE DOES NOT MEAN EASY. You need to push yourself when establishing goals, but you don’t want to fall outside the scope of realistic and achievable. Your goals should be neither out of reach nor below standard performance, because this will render them meaningless or trivial. If my current Back Squat max is 300, and my goal is 302.5, the goal is certainly attainable, but probably too easy. On the flip side, if goals are set too high you may lose motivation during your pursuit of said goal because it is outside of the realm of that which is achievable. Reevaluating your goals can be discouraging, but will increase the likelihood that you achieve them.
I’ve actually seen a couple of words used for the R in this Acronym. The first is Realistic, but to me that is very similar to attainable. The one I prefer is Relevant. Set goals that are meaningful to you. If you have no interest in getting better at Double Unders, don’t set a goal of completing 100 consecutive double unders because it will never happen. You are going to be the primary motivator in the achievement of your goals, and if they don’t mean anything to you, then your motivation will diminish rapidly, and you won’t achieve them.
Time-Bound – This one is critical. You need to put a time-frame on your goals. Saying something like “I want to perform 20 consecutive kipping pull-ups someday” is still not a solid goal. While it fits some of the criteria of effective goal setting, it is palpably devoid of any kind of time-frame. Someday…Like in 10 years??? A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency, and help you maintain focus on the task at hand. If you have an exact date to work toward, you will develop an action plan within the confines of that date that will enable you to achieve your goal.
Execution – It is one thing to develop a goal that has all of the elements of a SMART goal. It is another thing entirely to execute and achieve it. Once you have established a goal, you need to develop a concrete action plan that will enable you to achieve it. How many of you will write it down? I think very few. If your goal is 20 kipping pullups by March 15, talk to a coach about progressions to develop a kipping pull-up. A goal without an action plan is just a dream.
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”
Reevaluate – Sometimes we will establish a goal and realize quickly that it is outside the realm of realistic and attainable. This is fine, and you should reevaluate and refine accordingly. It’s ok to refine a goal such that you can continue in its pursuit. Remember as you refine your goals to ensure that they are still challenging, or you will render them meaningless.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
It is time to write it down and have a coach evaluate it. Your coach will then help you to put together a specific plan for achieving that goal. “To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.”