Happy New Year!
I’m not a big believer in New Year resolutions; anything worth doing is worth doing today – it doesn’t make sense to wait until the beginning of the year to start a positive activity.
Having said that, I am all about goal setting – if you don’t know what you want how can you tell what to do or when you get there? With the New Year, the CrossFit Reflexion coaches are working with our members to come up with goals for the coming year.
Today, I want to talk briefly about 1) what makes a good goal, and 2) choosing the correct goals. You’ll see the difference further down.
“I want to lose fat.” “I want to be ripped.” “I want to get toned.” If you find yourself thinking these kind of things, this section is for you. A goal statement without certain criteria isn’t a goal, it’s a wish. What makes a good goal statement?
I’m going to borrow from NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine). A goal needs to be SCAMPI. What’s that? It’s an acronym for the necessary components of a good goal statement. Every goal should be.
Be sure to make the goal as specific as possible; often we make goals that are too vague and allow for leeway when interpreting them. A goal such as “deadlift 300 lbs” is a specific goal that is measurable. Losing fat isn’t. Dropping 3% bodyfat is.
Be sure to challenge yourself, your capabilities now are nothing like the capabilities that you will have so aim high. But the goals need to be attainable. If you’re best squat is 200 lbs, a 500 lb squat may be unrealistic for now. Give yourself something that is challenging, but doable. Talk with your coaches if you have questions about this.
Focus on the approach to the goal, the steps you are taking to achieve something positive as opposed to avoiding something negative. For example, it’s better to say “I will exercise 30 minutes a day” than to say “I won’t watch so much TV.” You want your goal to have a positive outcome, not simply the avoidance of a negative one.
This one is huge. If you can’t put a number on a goal to measure it, it’s a wish. Getting fit is a wish. Taking 4 CrossFit classes a week is measurable. If there isn’t a number somewhere in your statement, it’s not finished yet. “That which is measured get improved.” – Peter Drucker
I hate the word proximal, I wish they had used timely. But SCAMTI isn’t as cute an acronym. Proximal means your goals need to be time bound in some fashion. Make your goal have a deadline; a week to a month to a year as steps to track improvement in order to adjust your path. Think of it like steering a huge ship, small adjustments from time to time are going to be needed in order to ensure you arrive at your destination.
This may be the most important part of goal setting. Think long and hard about whether or not this goal is something that’s important to you. Are you willing to do the work to make this goal happen? Does this really matter enough to you that you’ll sacrifice to achieve it? Make sure your goal is important and you passionate about achieving the outcome. Otherwise, it’s not really goal worthy.
Choosing Correct Goals
Now that we know about SCAMPI, we’ll all be writing actionable goal statements. The other part of this is to think about the goals you’re setting for yourself. Too often I see people who set conflicting goals. A common example is “get huge” and “get ripped.” Getting stronger and losing bodyfat at the same time is pretty hard. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but there’s a reason most athletes tackle one of these goals at a time.
Same for things like “put on 20 lbs of muscle” and “run a marathon.” One of those isn’t likely to happen. All I’m saying is make sure the goals you do set make sense, and work together, or at least don’t sabotage each other.
- Write down (this part is important) 1-3 fitness goals you have.
- Review with your coaches – come up with an action plan to achieve them.
- Share these goals with your family & friends – accountability is a great motivator.
- Chip away at the work – accomplish your goal. Smile and enjoy the feeling.
- Pick the next goal – fitness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey, enjoy the ride.
Now go get SCAMPI and post your goals to the comments of this post.