girl deadlifting in gym

Have you ever felt a strong urge to get serious in one area of life and achieve something good? Perhaps you’ve wanted to bench press a certain amount, run better, save more money, or reach the next milestone at work.

Like most people, you probably set goals, began work and felt good about yourself. But, at some point, you lost the drive to keep going.

In many cases, we fail and go back to old behaviors because we never get clear on what we want to achieve. So, even if we make progress, it doesn’t seem fulfilling because we have no reference point.

To that end, let’s take an in-depth look at practical goal setting and how to apply the principles to your life.

Be Specific
What’s a common goal of many new trainees seeking personal training services? That’s right:

  1. Build muscle or get big
  2. Get stronger

While both are good objectives to aim for, they are vague and don’t provide any true direction. A specific goal would be:

“I want to improve my squat by 50 kilos.”

Measure Your Progress
An issue related to pursuing goals is that many people fail to track their progress. As a result, they rarely know how things are going and are more likely to give up out of frustration.

Aside from setting concrete goals, you should also find ways to measure your progress. Let’s take our squat goal from the previous point as an example:

Add 50 kilograms to my squat.

Recording your workouts in a training log or fitness app will allow you to track how your squat improves and if you’re getting closer to your goals. With each milestone, your enthusiasm will renew, boosting your chances of achieving the objective.

Make Sure The Goal Matters to You
Introspection is by no means easy. But understanding what matters to you will allow you to set fulfilling goals. Often, people are unsure of what goals to establish, or worse - they set objectives that don’t matter.

So, when setting goals, or looking for personal training services, consider:

“Would I feel fulfilled if I achieved this outcome? How would my life improve as a result?”

Include Time Into The Mix
Introducing time to the goal-setting equation is crucial. How often have you found yourself thinking about a goal but procrastinating? For example, you want to lose some weight but fail to start eating better.

The problem is, even if a goal is specific enough, people often procrastinate because there is no rush to get started. Sure, you know what you want to achieve, but you haven’t set a deadline. Thanks to that, it’s easy to come up with excuses like, “I don’t have the time for it now. I’ll get to that goal once I free up more.” But, the time never comes, and we never reach our desired goals.

So, the final consideration for practical goal setting is to introduce a deadline. For example:

“I want to add 50 kilos to my squat in the next six months.”

The goal kicks you into action because you’ve introduced pressure in the form of a deadline.

January 14, 2022 — Daniel Felstein

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