Further to my post on SMART goal setting, I wanted to follow up on how to really make your goals ‘stick’….
What makes a goal far more likely to be achieved is attaching an emotional quantity to it. A SMART goal may be ‘I want to lose 2 inches off my waist by my summer holiday’. Yes it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound… but what is to stop this trainee falling off the wagon?
We can write the target down, put it on the top of their training program, even cover their work station with those annoying yellow stickies. But… once the New Year, new you, spring into summer or whatever other horrifically unimaginative gym promotion starts to wear off how do we keep the eyes on the prize?
How about if we ask the question ‘what does achieving this goal mean to you?’
Asking this question brings us to start making statements like:
‘If I add 10kg to my deadlift in 4 months I will be strong enough to compete’
‘Losing 2 inches off my waist by my summer holiday will give me more confidence on the beach’
All of a sudden we are attaching significance to what was previously a fairly dry statement. This goal is now charged with emotional value. For those of us who deal with clients or athletes on a daily basis this is key.
The numbers alone may well be enough to motivate athletes through yet another grueling winter but our general fitness clients may need a little more. They may see the value of getting stronger, leaner, or improving athleticism – however – is this enough to get them out of bed at 5.30 on a February morning? In my experience the real, and tangible effect of hitting the target provides far more of a drive than the target alone.