S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting for the New Year

January 5, 2018

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your resolutions and plans for success are set into motion after this first week in January. The year and month are young and motivation is rather easy to come by (most of the time). I’ve noticed, and even stated to some, that we honestly don’t experience a huge boom in membership or attendance at CrossFit PR Star around the New Year. Personally, I attest this to our own and CrossFit’s motivated community who recognize that consistency is key in order to make the change you want. However, I think that some of your extra New Year’s inspiration can be put to good use by sitting down and actually mapping out a plan for what you want to achieve for this year in the gym. THEN attack that plan and stick to it even as January and the rest of the year roll by. This of course is all easier said than done but I do have some tips for goal setting that I hope will guide you to success as we work through 2018!


SMART goals are the easiest and simplest way to get started. To jog your memory, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Each property speaks for itself and your goals should be relatively easy to come up with and refine. For example, I want to get fitter/stronger/faster. Okay, that’s great! However those are clearly too broad and don’t fit the above criteria. So, I want to add 10 lbs. to my **insert lifting movement** in the next 3 months as well as shave 10 seconds off my 2K row. A somewhat simple example but now we’re talking! And I would say those two are great for CrossFit specifically as well. Now come up with your own and GO WRITE THEM DOWN! Not in the front or back of your daily planner, not on a sticky note or piece of paper that you’ll just stuff in your desk drawer. Put them down on something that you’ll literally come across every day; the bathroom mirror, background of your phone or work computer, a note-board/calendar you have at home hanging on the wall. These goals need to be not only attainable but also accessible to you as a constant reminder.


Now I love the purpose of SMART goals, but to me there’s something missing. This could probably be a subheading of ‘Timely’ but I believe your goals also need to be progressive. What I mean by that is they either lead to a new goal, assist with other goals, or are part of a bigger goal. The last one is most important, in my opinion. I really think this is something that can help break down your big picture goals into daily or weekly obtainable pieces, even mini goals, which you can keep track of and check off. Simple examples include: I will workout a minimum of 3 days a week, I will consume a minimum of 150 grams of protein every day, I will execute heavy back squats at least 1x/week in Open Gym, or one I am currently using, I will do ALL of our CrossFit class’s Snatch work every week. Come up with one or two OR five if you want but make sure they are attainable on a daily/weekly basis. Again, write them down, and check them off as you go. Also, if you fall off track, don’t worry, it happens to all of us, just account for it the next day or week or simply do your best not to consistently drop the ball on them. 


Once you have these things planned out the actual work follows. Writing down what you want to do in the above fashion really is not all that difficult. I think you’ll get a sense of fulfillment from it and it feels great to have a plan to follow. It’s the first step. However execution is really where the change comes from. Yes again, easier said than done and it’s the DOing that we all need! So, one more thing I implore you to do is find some way to hold yourself accountable. All the above goal setting helps, of course, but I’m talking about more external sources of accountability. Sign up for classes a week in advance, put your alarm to wake up and work out on the other side of the room, send a message to or make plans with a friend/workout buddy, or even just tell someone what your intentions are and ask them to hold you responsible! As I stated before, we honestly have a very motivated community but sometimes you need just that little extra kick in the rear to keep yourself on track. 


The final thing I’d like to touch on falls under the “Specific” heading of your goal planning. Having a goal such as adding 3 reps to your max effort of strict handstand push-ups in the next 2 months is definitely specific. However, how you are going to get there is a bit more complex. Of course we give you a lot of what you need in classes with our programming, coaching, motivating, and guiding. However if your trying to work on something outside of class, following some sort of program guide and/or asking our staff to provide some to help increase your performance in a specific area is going to lead to a much more directed and timely outcome (Note: of course that extra work would need to be performed in Open Gym ☺ ). I’ve seen it and I’ve done it; trying some random accessory or strength work here and there can help a little, however it definitely won’t help you reach anything significant very effectively. Get some direction or just stick to the basics, sometimes too much stimulus can be counter-productive. 


You all possess immense amounts of motivation and drive. Everything I see you do either when I’m coaching you or next to you in a WOD keeps me motivated to come back in and chase my fitness goals too! So the take away today is that everyone’s motivation needs direction and intention. Breaking your goals down progressively, making them actionable on a short term basis, giving them accountability to be held to, and follow a rigidly structured program plan will take your drive and determination and turn it to success! Best of luck!


P.S. Nothing says this only relates to your fitness goals. Apply some of these ideas at work, with your family, and your personal objectives, I hope it can help! 

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