- Where are you on your personal journey?
- Are you where you want to be or are you struggling to get yourself moving in the right direction?
- Are you as healthy and as happy as you would like to be?
- How do you picture yourself in a ‘perfect world’?
Whatever your answers to these questions I know that setting some clear goals and making a plan to achieve them can really help you. Whether you have recently achieved the shape of your life and are rocking it or you have no direction and a lack of self-worth, wherever you are, you must set goals and keep setting and reviewing. YOU MUST.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”
NB: This is not another goal-setting article that you should just glaze and skim over. This is the article you need to read, absorb and act upon today. Yes YOU. Ignore and don’t act at your peril.
When it comes to goals, it is really important for us all to live with a ‘today is one day’ philosophy where every single day is a small step towards achieving our aims. Back in January I wrote a blog post about setting targets for ourselves in 2014. Here we are nearly halfway through the year, let’s quickly recap on what I wrote (full blog post here) and then take a closer look at PW SMART goal setting.
The Big Why?
We need to identify why our goals are important to us and how achieving them will make us feel.
Put very simply, there are people that talk and there are people who get up and do – what kind of person do you want to be? Take charge, train and eat right and actively work towards your goals every single day.
View Everything as a Positive
Getting in shape requires discipline and the overcoming of many challenges. Every single challenge and temptation is an opportunity for you to strengthen your resolve, remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing and smile as you take one step closer to your goal.
For the full blog article, click here.
PW SMART: The 7 Steps
I am pretty sure that everyone who reads this blog or signs up for any form of training has an idea in their head as to what they want to be and how they want to feel. Have a think about what goals you are working towards in your life. Now take a clean piece of paper and WRITE THEM DOWN.
I really hope you did this in January as well and if you did, get that piece of paper out because we are now going to work on making your goals PW SMART:
1. P is for PLANNING: Anyone who knows me will know how important preparation is to me and it should be to you too. Write a plan to prepare your meals in advance and schedule exercise into your routine. Don’t give yourself any room for excuses. As the saying goes, ‘fail to prepare and you prepare to fail’.
2. W is for WORK: Achieving your goals won’t be easy so expect to work hard. You may have a long journey ahead of you but know that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, train right and eat cleanly. Stay focused and use your goals to motivate you today, tomorrow and every day.
3. S is for setting SPECIFIC goals: Your goals need to be clear and well defined so you know exactly what you are working towards. These goals are your direction and your road map to success so make sure they aren’t vague. They should remind you of exactly what you are working towards. “I want to lose 3% of body fat before the end of July” is much better than “I want to lose weight”.
4. M is for setting MEASURABLE goals: Numbers are key here and they should be unique to you. Clean meals, dress sizes, fat losses, muscle gains, exercise reps or running times – if you can’t measure your success then you won’t know just how much you have (or indeed haven’t) achieved. “What gets measured gets improved”, said the man who turned Japanese industry on its head after WWII – Dr Edwards Deming. And those 5 words say a lot – you simply are relieving yourself in a very strong breeze (for want of a better phrase) if you have no form of measure or accountability. So as hard as it may be to get your fat pinched, it has to be done I’m afraid! That marker needs to be placed in the sand.
5. A is for ANNOUNCING your goals: By writing down your goals you are doing this, announcing your aims both to yourself and others. Display your goals somewhere where you will see them every day, remind yourself of them and make sure you concentrate your energy on achieving them. Go one step further and share your goals with others. Let your friends and family know what you are aiming for and ask them for their support, you will make yourself more accountable and can also remind them why you aren’t having a croissant or a glass of wine with them. So as your friend attempts to pour you another glass of wine, you look them in the eye and say, “I’m trying to get under 15% body fat, so no thanks”… or something like that (maybe something a little more tactful perhaps, but you choose).
6. R is for setting REALISTIC goals: Goals should be challenging but they should also be possible. You can change your body quickly but you can’t transform everything overnight so don’t pile on the pressure and ask too much of yourself. Remember, if you meet your targets ahead of time you will just need to set new ones. Running a sub-40 minute 10km sounds cool, but be realistic and maybe target under the hour first! Then target 55 minutes and so on. Step by step. Consistency though is key. The Kaizen Principle of Constant Never-ending Improvement is one that the Japanese industry moguls employ across the board (anyone would think I have read a book on Japanese industry… I haven’t by the way). How do you get to lift 150kg bench press? By adding 0.5kg at a time, week by week. It doesn’t come in 10kg jumps, as much as we’d love it to. 0.5kg per week for one year, equals 26kg in strength gains. That’s quite impressive. Likewise, improving your 10km run time by 5 seconds each week, makes 4,20 minutes in one year. That’s a lot. But it won’t happen if you stop training or stop trying, that is sûr et certain.
7. T is for TIMEFRAMES: We all have long term targets for ourselves but we also need short term stepping stones along the way. Set yourself deadlines and monthly challenges. List exactly what you will do now to help you move towards your longer term goals. I want to drop 1% body fat before Bootcamp 13 in September gives you clarity and is great, but perhaps is too distant to really focus the mind. So why not try something like, “I want to drop 2% before the end of July” and then focus on something else next month. Constant challenges are key to forward progression – that’s why I now have 9 women who can do chin-ups now when they couldn’t two months ago and several more well on their way. As, if it doesn’t challenge us, it doesn’t… (let me hear you say it?!) change us!
Let me know what your PW SMART goals are – post a photo on Facebook or Instagram (using the hashtag #pwsmart) and show everyone how you remind yourself of your aims, stay focused and resist temptation – e.g. show us your goals on paper (remember point 5 above?), a picture of you writing them down, etc.. Further down the line, let everyone know when you reach one of your goals. Be proud, share your achievement and inspire others!
If you would like to discuss your personal targets then get in touch with me today, either at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. To get strong, be as fit as you want to be and stay lean, you first have to get PW SMART!
p.s. Click the ‘like’ button on Facebook today if you intend to write (or rewrite) your goals (at least this way I know who is serious?!). It might seem like an effort and 10 minutes you’d rather spend on something else, but ladies and gentlemen, I can promise you that it’s 10 of the most priceless minutes you could possible spend. Believe me. Do it.