Goals are dreams with deadlines. But how many people actually write their dreams down and follow a process to make them a reality?
What separates the high performers from everyone else are the goals they set for themselves. When you have a clear vision for what you want to achieve and a specific plan for how you are going to achieve it, you can really elevate your performance in any discipline.
In the words of legendary cricket umpire Bill Copeland: “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
So, the first step to achieving your fitness goals is having a process to follow that will ensure you get results fast. This is the 3-step process that we recommend you use to set S.M.A.R.T. fitness goals that you will be able to achieve:
1️⃣ Start With Why You Want It
The first step to setting a fitness goal that you want to achieve is to get really clear about what you want and why you want it. For example, if you want to bulk up and build a better physique then you need to drill down to why you want to achieve that goal.
A clear purpose for why you want to achieve your goal will help you maintain willpower and motivation to stick to your plan. You need a “why” deep enough that you can overcome mental obstacles that will inevitably get in your way when you’re feeling low in energy and motivation.
It helps to start by using visualization to achieve your fitness goals. Try visualizing what you will feel like when you have achieved your goal. If bulking up is your goal, you may feel that achieving your goal will give you more confidence, which will lead to more opportunities and a better quality of life. Spend a few minutes feeling what it will be like when you have achieved your end goal.
When you clearly visualize the outcome you want to achieve and you feel how this transformation will improve your life and your self-esteem, this will help you sustain your motivation as your energy levels rise and fall during the course of a weekly routine.
2️⃣ Use The S.M.A.R.T. Goal Framework
Once you have a good idea of what you want and why you want to achieve it, you need to set a clear goal.
We recommend that you use the S.M.A.R.T goal framework, which is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
Here is a good example of what a S.M.A.R.T. fitness goal is: I will commit myself to following James Ellis’ 30-Day Body Bulk workout program by going to the gym 6 days a week for the next month and working out for at least 30 minutes in each training session.
Here’s how it works step-by-step for setting a fitness goal:
Specific: The first step is to get really specific about what you want to achieve. Using the example above, you want to break down in a sentence what you are committing yourself to achieve.
Measurable: You need to make sure you can easily measure your goal. I will go to the gym 6 days a week for the entire 30-day duration of this workout program.
Achievable: You need to be realistic. If you’ve never gone to the gym consistently, you may want to go to the gym 2-3 times a week for a month before you commit to a full workout program.
Relevant: You need to make it relevant to your life, this is where your why comes in. I want to commit to this goal because it will give me the confidence and energy to improve the rest of my life.
Timely: You need to set a time window so you have a milestone to celebrate when you’ve achieve your goal. In this case, the time to achieve the goal is 30 days.
3️⃣ Commit To A Schedule
Once you have established what you want to achieve and why you want it, you need to commit to a specific plan to achieve it. The first step to commit to a fitness plan is to schedule your regular workouts in your calendar. Ideally, choose to workout at the same time in your schedule everyday and set yourself a recurring reminder, which will make it easier to build a strong habit.
Next, you will probably need to create an accountability system that ensures you will stick to your plan. If you can, we recommend working out with a close friend, work colleague or family member. Make a commitment to keep each other accountable. If this is not practical, then choose someone close to you and make a commitment to them and do weekly check-ins with them to share your progress.
The easiest way to commit to a fitness plan is to use a calendar app on your iPhone or Android and plan out your weekly workout schedule. Here are some more recommended calendar apps you can use to schedule your plan.
Finally, you may also want to print out your schedule and put it by your desk or choose a good photo that represents your goal and place it on your fridge or somewhere you will see it every morning when you start your day.
It all starts with a plan. Follow these 3 important steps and you’ll be able to achieve anything you want.
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