Yea, GOALS...as defined by Merriam-Webster: the end toward which effort is directed.
When goal-setting, your goals should have five characteristics: specific, measurable, attainable,realistic and timely; what those five attribute gives you is a SMART goal. SMART goals are a great way to keep you focused on what you need to accomplish. The SMART component takes a goal and gives it focus in a number of ways.
For example, a goal of mine is shorter workout, less time in the gym. That's a good goal (I have a tendency to run long...), but the goal doesn't address how I will get there, what will I gain by shortening my sessions, will anything "get lost" by focusing the goal....none of that.
So let's reform that goal:
Goal: Keep training focused by dividing the session into strict, time-based segments, by the end of January; for example:
10 min warm up
10 min full body/cardio
20 min skill/power/whatever
10 min core/abs
10 min cool down
The goal is specific...if I were to get any more specific, I'd have to document how long each rep takes me, and while I should know that, is a bit too far. Let's face it, I roll out of bed 20 minutes to five most days, so if my windmills are off by a second or two, I can live with that.
It's measurable: the schedule laid out above keeps me at 60 minutes, start to finish. This also gives me an added ability to log my workouts based on the segments, and note when I deviate from said segment.
Attainable --"nothing to it, but to do it.". Also, the above schedule leaves some flexibility to combine segments for specialized workouts or to focus on a particular area. Prime example, is my 12/28/2011 session: the extra stretching took longer than 10 minutes, but I was able to utilize what would have been my Ab/Core time for that; I was able to complete everything else in the remaining 40 minutes.
Realistic -Absolutely. In fact, I kept this schedule for several months...somewhere I lost focus.
Timely - The goal included a specified date of committal; I admit, it's a little lame, but I actually started this today and should be on track in fairly short order...a week or so.
So, now that we have a basis for goal setting, we are going to be SMART; get a piece of paper and WRITE down your goals. Get a notebook, track your progress. Remain focused on what you want to accomplish it and make the sacrifices to get there.
That said, here are my goals for 2012:
- Keep training focused by dividing the session into strict, time-based segments, by the end of January.
- Increase leg press working rate to 800LBS (2 rep minimum) by February 1, 2012
- Work toward 3 times bodyweight deadlift 1RM (1 rep max), based on average weight (180LBS) by Feb 4, 2012
- Complete sandan test on Feb 10, 2012...preferably in one piece.
- 100 consecutive double unders by May, 1 2012
- Perform 100LB DB Bench Press by Feb 1, 2012
- Perform 225LB Bench Press 1RM by April 1, 2012
- Perform 400LB Squat by June 1, 2012
- Maintain ability to perform all achieved goals through end of 2012
Solid goal setting can take you anywhere you want to go;