Here we are at the end of January 2018 and I am sure you all have been thinking about your goals for the year. We also need to get them on the white board, but before we do let's chat. Do you repeat the goals that you didn't hit last year? Do you make them broad and inclusive like "improve my fitness"? Or are you specific down to the number on then scale or on the barbell? Either way goals are fantastic and can be a driving force to put in the work.
Let's first establish what SMART goals are: SPECIFIC (I want to do 10 unbroken pull-ups vs. I want to do pull-ups), MEASURABLE (10 pull-ups vs. any amount), ATTAINABLE (where are you now compared to what the goal requires, more on this later), RELEVANT (do these goals align with your values and what you do), TIMELY (I want 10 pull-ups unbroken by June 1st).
The two components I want to focus on are also those which I believe to be the most valuable, ATTAINABLE and RELEVANT
What is a goal without action toward it? It is nothing, just a statement or a wish for good fortune. What is a goal without an understanding of where you are now and what you are physically and emotionally capable of? If someone were to say to me, "I want to qualify for Regionals", there would be an extensive conversation around the level of commitment required as well as an assessment of their capacity physically and mentally. Even with our seemingly smaller goals this assessment is necessary for success.
ATTAINABLE. This might require a conversation with your coach to discuss progression and normal physical adaptations. For example; experienced athletes can work hard to see 5% gain in one year. For me this would be increasing my Back Squat from 235# to 247# (this would also mean that I am specifically working on this 3x per week which we don't do in CrossFit). Beginner athletes (1 year or less) will see faster improvement due to neurological adaptations. There is also a significant difference between fitness goals that require a certain amount of strength and those that are more skill based. For example it takes less time to improve double unders (high skill) than it does to improve back squat (high strength).
When we think of attainable, we also need to consider what you are willing to DO or NOT DO to achieve them. Do you understand what if takes to get 6 pack abs? We are talking no sugar, no alcohol, and slim to no carbohydrates (even the good ones). How much time and energy do you have AND are willing to give in order to achieve your goals? Remember time is our most valuable resource.
RELEVANT. Do your goals align with your values? What is the why behind the goal and does it make since? If you do CrossFit to stay healthy and fit five times a week for and hour per day, but you ALSO want a 200# snatch as a female? This does not make since, a 200# snatch is a games qualifying number and takes years and hours every week devoted to olympic lifting. Let's take a simple one; "I want to lose 10 pounds of fat by April 1st". Answer these questions. Why lose 10 lbs? Why by April 1st? What will you do EVERYDAY to move toward this goal? What will you NOT do? Is this possible given the answers to the previous questions?
The last big component of successful goal setting is; knowing what you have control over and what you do not. Generally we have control over actions and not outcomes. For example you do not have control over where you place in the OPEN, but you do have control over your training, nutrition, mindset, and recovery. So choose goals within these categories and fine-tune them.
Now that you understand the groundwork required for successful goal setting, evaluate you 2018 goals and when they are SOLID put them on the whiteboard. Let's get it, CrossFit Mafia!