Finding Your Why
There is a driving force behind success of those looking to execute a new training plan that goes beyond anything superficial. If it has to do with a concern of other people’s perception, your chances of consistent success are slim to none. Your “why” or real reason for improving your health and fitness has to be deep. Mine is the belief that the only way for me to find my truest potential and purpose is to be as fit and healthy as possible. This allows me to focus on the process. However, it’s broad and easy to feel like an uphill battle when EVERYTHING can be “better.” Nutrition, strength, recovery, sleep, mobility, the list goes on and on. That’s why it’s important to get specific on your next action steps. Use the SMART guide below to help you take your next step forward. It’s probably something you have seen or used before, but I always come back to it because simply, it works.
How To Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
What is it exactly that you want? You could say “to have more upper body endurance on downhills” or to “improve strength,” but that still leaves the question as to how. Dive deeper into it, “to do 10 perfect push ups from the floor” will most likely accomplish both of these goals, but now you have real direction.
Once you have your specific goal, check to make sure you can track your progress or at least have an obvious point of achievement. “10 perfect push ups from the floor” is a clear test to see where you’re at. “Feeling better on downhills” is an endless chase, although I’m sure hitting your goal of 10 push ups will translate to more downhill strength and endurance.
It’s ok to understand that some things are impossible. If you’re new to riding and 50 years old, you are never going to win the next Enduro World Series Overall Championship. However, you can become a great all around mountain biker and smoke all of your friends. Once you understand that your potential is huge(probably more than you realize), but that there are some boundaries, you can keep focused on what type of thing you can and want to accomplish.
Does your goal actually matter? This is a real question that you need to ask yourself because it will point directly back to your why. If your “why” is strong enough, it will affirm how relevant this is to your life.
If you give yourself all day to do something, it will probably take all day. When it comes to health and fitness goals, you have to have a hard deadline. It is physically impossible to cut corners with most health and fitness goals because your body takes time to adapt. If your goal is to do 10 push ups, but you can only do 2 currently, it doesn’t matter how many push ups you do over the next 7 days, you will not be able to do 10 next week. However, if your goal is set for exactly 2 months out, you will know that it is enough time, but you have to start now and stay consistent.
Setting more than one goal at a time
It’s normal to have more than one SMART goal at one time. Although, this can become more difficult to navigate because it takes some knowledge and experience to make sure your goals are complimentary of each other. There are some things that conflict and will leave you stranded between the two goals not really accomplishing either. The most classic one pertaining to your health and fitness is trying to lose body fat and build muscle at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done(especially for those with less experience training), but losing body fat requires a calorie deficit while gaining muscle mass requires a calorie surplus. However, focus on losing body fat until you hit your goal(probably feeling stronger because your power to weight ratio is improved) and then focus on muscle gain. You will be where you want when it’s all said and done instead of dipping a toe in and out of both without making real improvements in either direction.
Take Action: You will never have more time than you do right now(think about it). Remember, you have to start moving forward to discover your path. If you can only see the next step, take it. The next one will appear when you accomplish what’s currently in front of you.
If you have questions about your goals(realistic timeline, multiple goals, etc.) feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help guide you in the right direction