There’s no question that the health and fitness community is abuzz with goal setting, especially around New Year’s. Yet, a staggering 80% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within 30 days, and only 8% achieve them. The key issue? Many don’t know how to set and stick to attainable goals.
At 12 Minute Athlete, we emphasize the power of goal setting. If you’re not a pro at it yet, don’t worry – it’s a skill you can develop.
Set High, Hard Goals
Contrary to intuition, setting slightly challenging goals isn’t as effective as aiming high.
Psychologist Gary Latham’s research underscores this: big goals significantly outperform small goals, medium-sized goals, and vague goals.
High, hard goals compel you to focus and maintain consistency – essential for long-term progress. Imagine training for a major boxing competition or climbing Mt. Everest.
These aren’t just goals; they’re commitments requiring daily effort and long-term planning.
Make Your Goals Clear and Measurable
Vague goals are a recipe for failure. Instead of a nebulous aim like “lose weight,” opt for specific, measurable objectives. This could mean reducing body fat by a certain percentage or achieving a specific fitness milestone, like a freestanding handstand or a challenging rock climbing route.
Clear, measurable goals enable progress tracking and help maintain motivation.
Break Down Your Goals
Large goals can be daunting. The solution? Break them into smaller, manageable chunks. This approach, used by elite performers, involves setting daily actions, weekly and monthly short-term goals, and mid-range objectives.
It makes the goal less overwhelming and provides clear markers of progress.
Attach Goals to a Timeline
Successful goal-setting involves deadlines. Without them, it’s easy to lose focus and momentum. If your goal is to do a pull-up in eight weeks, plan your training phases accordingly, from building strength to attempting pull-ups.
Adjust this timeline as needed, keeping your ultimate goal in sight.
Understand the Non-Linear Nature of Goal Setting
Expect ups and downs in your goal-setting journey. Setbacks don’t spell failure; they’re part of the process. When you hit a roadblock, adjust your strategy and keep going. Remember, the only true failure is giving up altogether.
Setting high, challenging goals and breaking them down into clear, manageable steps with a timeline can transform your fitness journey. Embrace the non-linear nature of progress, and you’ll find yourself achieving more than you ever thought possible.