Guest Post By: Sergio Valdes, CPT, CES, USAW L1 Coach
We’ve all been in positions where we wanted to achieve something meaningful to completion. It can be losing weight, performing better at work, achieving good grades in school, etc. We do these things not only because it sets a great example for our peers, but because the sense of accomplishment makes us feel good, too!
These benefits sound great in theory, but what steps do we take to make sure these goals are set and fulfilled? Here are 5 steps to get started in the right direction...
Step 1 - Set Your Expectations.
By far, the most important aspect of setting goals is to make it clear in your mind what it is that you want to achieve, and what you believe is possible for you. Over time, we become complacent with what we have and where we are in life, and stop striving for continued improvement.
The way to approach the idea of goal setting is to observe it like a journey, stepping-stones or progressions- never plain destinations. Complacency can be a killer if you let it in. Once we find ourselves completely satisfied with what we have, we stop pushing to newer heights and as a result, all progress ceases. We stop growing as individuals.
With that being said, how do you break out of a bad rut? You must set expectations for yourself, with both what you believe is possible and what you see yourself being capable of.
A good way to approach this is by being around people that do and attain what you want to ultimately complete. Surrounding and immersing yourself with positive and reliable resources can substantially increase the probability of your goals being fulfilled.
These people and experiences are invaluable. You'll start to see that so much more is possible and redefine your expectations accordingly.
Step 2 – Be Specific With Your Goals.
It is critical that your goals be specific and easily definable. Set goals that are objective, where the results are clear and concrete. This will prevent your results from being obscure or uncertain.
An effective goal setting strategy I use with my strength athletes is to set goals that require adding a certain number of pounds to lifts or improvements in technique. For my weight loss clients,, it would be seeing progress in their measurements, or body fat percentage.
The most important thing to remember is that, no matter what your goals are, you need to ensure that they are easily measurable in order to see true progress.
Step 3 – Set Short, Medium, And Long Term Goals.
You should set short, medium, and long-term goals. It is key that your short term goals act as a stepping stone to reach your medium and long term goals. This prevents setting goals that conflict or oppose others. It is also important to define how long these goals take to be accomplished. A short-term goal should be seen as something that can be accomplished over weeks or months.
Accomplishing medium-term goals should be set for 1-2 years, and long terms goals 5-10 years or possibly more. Of course, these time frames will vary greatly depending on the individual and what exactly the goal may be.
Step 4 – Work On Your Goals Regularly.
To ensure that your goals are completed, you must be willing to remind yourself of them regularly. I take time on the weekend (no more than 45 min) to rewrite my goals on a special notebook designated for them. I start with my long term goals, and work my way down to the shorter ones. This is extremely important, as it is a clear reminder of what you’re committing yourself to doing for yourself. It will also allow you to cross off the goals you complete, and set new ones to continue moving forward and setting new, higher standards for yourself.
Step 5 – Enjoy The Outcome.
We talked about viewing goal achievement as a journey. It is also essential to enjoy the ride on the way there. Take the time to step back and look at all the great things you complete along the way. Accomplishing the things you want for yourself in life is rewarding and fun! It also builds self-confidence and the drive to achieve so much more for yourself.
Goal setting has been a wonderful tool for my own growth, not only a personal trainer, but as an individual with high hopes of becoming the best version of myself.
Now you know how to do it! Get started!
Meet Your Therapist
Jessica has been in Austin, TX for the past four years. She grew up in Idaho and attended PT school at Idaho State University. She completed an Orthopaedic Residency and became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist in 2016.