I May be Smart, but I ain't no Cookie
What are you working towards?
Do you know?
I’m not talking about aesthetics here (although that is a perfectly suitable goal).
Today I'm talking about what you're working for - the goals behind your goals.
In other words, do you know why your goals exist?
A really simple way to find yourself heading in the wrong direction is by making non-specific goals.
Goal setting has to be detailed because your mind doesn’t know how to complete tasks without being specific.
For example: you tell your brain to eat and your brain responds with “eat, eat what? Eat the grass? Eat the dirt? Eat that human?” (shout out to any walking dead fans).
Likewise, if you tell your brain to read it'll ask “read what? The tattoo, the book, those directions?”
Things have to be specific in order for your mind to comprehend them, and the same applies for the goals you set in health and fitness.
Saying something along the lines of “I want to be in better shape” is great, but what does that actually mean? What constitutes as being in "better shape" and what does that look like for you?
Here's some general goals you may be considering:
VO2 Max = increase it or decrease it? By how much?
Weight = loss or gain? How much? Target areas?
Strength/Mass = increase, decrease? What areas of the body?
Mass = increase, decrease? How much and what target areas?
Athletic Ability = what components: running, jumping, overall? What functions do you want to increase/decrease? Everyday life or competition based?
Think about your current goals and think about questions similar to the ones above; do you know the answers to those questions?
Studies show that those who can answer these questions, or those who have detailed goals, have a higher success rate. To do this you must be: S-M-A-R-T
S: Specific (what is your goal, why is that your goal, what are you targeting?)
M: Measurable (how will you measure progress/accomplishment? Scale, measuring tape, tracking daily weights lifted, tracking how you’re feeling in a workout journal?)
A: Attainable (how will you go about attaining this?)
R: Realistic (is achieving your goal realistic within the time-frame you have set? Is it realistic period?)
T: Timely (what is the timeline of which you want to achieve your goal?)