1. Choose something manageable and realistic!
In a society that feeds off of filters and the glamour (fakeness) of social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the “what-ifs” and yearn for a goal that is unobtainable. This isn’t because you can’t obtain it, it’s because the life and look that social media influencers portray is NOT REAL! You want to create realistic and manageable goals without the filters and fluff of the metaverse. We usually start our clients off with goals that resonate in each individual and pertain to an overall health objective. While aesthetics and superficial aspirations are sometimes a driving mechanism for personal training, we find that shifting perspectives to a more healthy and holistic route provide greater long-term accomplishments and happiness. When you’ve been in the training industry for decades you have many case studies to draw from, and the most satisfied clients rave about their health-related successes. These range from waking up without backpain to reaching personal records in their respective sports, but whatever it is that gets you moving and healthier is a win.
2. Choose something that you can measure!
In following the same principles of choosing goals that are manageable and realistic, goals also need to be quantifiable/measurable. It’s important that you and your trainer are able to track your goals and progress so modifications to programming can be made if things aren’t going as planned. Don’t be discouraged if-or-when this happens because it’s more common than not. Life can be as predictable as a Seattle spring, and there will undoubtedly be some storms to weather during your fitness journey.
3. Choose a short-term goal
We usually suggest our clients start with a short-term goal so that they can realize a win sooner than later. Creating small, short-term goals can be very empowering for individuals who have struggled with fitness goals in the past. Winning stimulates and releases chemicals in your brain that set-up the motivation to conquer the next goal. I’ll spare you the clinical findings on the integral makings of the human brain, but if you’d like to read more here’s a link for all my nerds out there. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-neurochemical-self/201402/the-primate-brain-likes-win-cant-always-have-it).
4. Choose a long-term goal
Once we’ve finished our assessment with a client and discussed goals in detail, we like to set a quantifiable long-term goal. This can be 3-months to a year out depending on the client. The purpose of these goals as a personal training gym is to hold both you and us accountable every session. Choosing a long-term goal is also done using the first 3 principles of goal setting (manageable, quantifiable, short-term goal). The short-term goals that we set-up will serve as landmarks to keep us on the right path. In some cases, we may need to detour or choose a different route to get to your destination, but by closely monitoring progress in a measurable goal, it is easy to shift directions if things are not progressing as they should. Long-term goals should not be viewed as an end point, but more as a major win after many little wins. Think of the smaller wins like qualifying meets or matches for individual sports, or all those regular season games in professional sports, all of which lead to a grand finale. Once you’ve won the Super Bowl of your year-long goal, you’ve traded old habits for better ones, you’ve conquered many smaller goals and built confidence, and you’ve invested in the most expensive thing you own, yourself. All this will serve you in the years to come and will set you up for a bigger win on your next round of goals!
5. Choose check-in intervals and pivot points
Even in a perfect world, there will undoubtedly be hurdles that will throw you off course. One of the most beneficial factors of having a personal training gym that cares about their clients, is the constant check-in. Did your in-laws make their flight out of town ok, did you meet that work deadline that you were stressed about last week? By having a group of trainers in your corner, you have a team that will listen to the stresses of your world and modify programming to better suit your current state of body and mind. For instance, a night of 3-hours sleep would not bode well for a heavy lifting day. An experienced trainer will understand the risk to reward situation and modify the workout to keep you safe and still productive towards your goals. Pushing an agenda without proper preparation (this includes sleep) can lead to serious injury, there are an infinite number of exercises and movements that will be more beneficial at that moment. By using intervals to check-in (like a monthly or quarterly fitness benchmark evaluation), it gives both you and us an opportunity to discuss progress and any concerns, and if need be pivot the plan. Optimizing and pivoting your training plan could be as simple as moving your scheduled times 30 minutes later in the morning so you can get enough sleep. They can also be as complex as abandoning all of your current goals because you’ve signed up for the Ironman in Hawaii, and a long-term goal of running a 10k is no longer relevant. At this point we’ve seen it all, change is exciting and we’re no stranger to change #2020. Hopefully this article helped guide you a little bit on goal-making, feel free to reach out if you need help creating or realizing those goals.