Smart Goals

smart goalsYou have goals, right? But are they smart goals?

Every once in a while I start to think I’ve got this whole thing dialed in and then I realize I’ve still got a lot to learn. A big turning point in my life and fitness came when I met my Coach. I was definitely a solo producer, director and star of my own movie about me losing excess weight and improving my fitness. That film was equal parts drama, comedy and tragedy, with a bit of fantasy mixed in. Real progress came when I hooked up with Jason and his posse of like-minded folks.

The cool thing is, he still takes me to school years later. This is his latest nugget of fitness wisdom:

One of the BIGGEST reasons I see people get frustrated is because they pick the wrong goals.

There are 2 types of goals-behavior (things you do) and outcome (the result).

You should NEVER pick OUTCOME goals…things like I want to lose 5lbs or I want to lose 5 inches. YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER OUTCOME GOALS! So you will be frustrated when they do not happen.

You should choose BEHAVIOR GOALS-I will work out 6 days a week, I will have 2 treat meals per week. I will drink 2 liters of water a day. I will eat 2 servings of vegetables with each meal.

When you set you behavior goals and stick to them, you will get results.

The only thing I could possibly add to this is that your goals need to be YOUR goals. Life is way too short and time too precious for any of us to be living a life based on someone else’s expectations or ideas about what we should be doing.

One of the big traps in fitness is when people measure their success and progress based upon what they see someone else doing. The worst case is you’re measuring your appearance in comparison to some model or film star in his or her 20s who makes their actual and literal living off of their looks. If your JOB is to have absurdly low body fat and ripped muscles (and that job pays you tens of thousands of dollars to do so) you are not inhabiting the planet I live on, or the planet that anyone I know lives on.

It’s just as bad for a recreational athlete to build up a set of goals as a runner or cyclist based upon what people who GET PAID to do that activity are capable of. I may be a middle-aged man, but if you gave me 8 to 10 hours a day to train as a cyclist and I’d be pretty damned fast. I’d still climb like a MAMIL, but I’d be a fast MAMIL.

Your goal should be oriented around being the best version of you that you can be.

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