December is here and you are about to be bombarded with a ton of hints and tips for keeping New Year’s fitness resolutions. Your success depends on solid goal setting skills. It’s not a natural ability and that means that we have to work at it. But it also means that if you aren’t feeling top dog about your accomplishments this year, have no fear. Brushing up on your goal setting skills is a good way to reach your targets and make the end of 2015 feel loads better.
Being specific, realistic and making a plan for when and how you’ll work on your goal will all form the basics of an athlete’s essential goal setting tool kit. Many of you are already excelling at these skills. If you’re into CrossFit for any period of time, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get those goal setting skills tuned, so I’d like to focus instead on preparing for the inevitable roadblocks along the way. Here’s some tips to not just set a goal, but smash it!
Tell someone about your goal – Saying it makes it more real and having other people on board is a great antidote to the low motivation days ahead. But the person you select is important. Choose someone who’s not a close friend or family member. Love you as they do, friends and family are not the best to keep you on track. You need someone who is supportive, but not shy about asking you what you’ve done this week and confronting any excuses that might rear up. Your coach is a good option. Not only can they serve as a reminder to stay on target, but they can also be an invaluable source of information and support in developing the strengths and skills relevant to your aims.
Quality practice – When you go to the box, remind yourself that you are working on your goal. The best athletes don’t always have more training time, but they do engage in more quality training. That means they are clear on how their training is relevant to their goals and they aim to stay focused and efficient with training time. The social bit of CrossFit is fun and it can keep you engaged, but plan your time wisely. I love a bit of box banter. But time waits for no one and while I’m mobilisng/socialising my goal might be slipping.
Mind your language – Not something you’d expect me to say, but I’m not referring to my frequent effing and jeffing, here. It’s the way we think about our goals that can affect if we achieve them. You’re most successful goals will be things you want. So if you find yourself thinking about your goal in terms of ‘I need….’ , ‘I should….’ , ‘Everyone else says I should….’ you’re less likely to fight through the tough times. Also, try phrasing your goal with ‘I want to work towards…..’. Useful goals can’t just be things you want. They have to be things you’re willing to work on right now. If that isn’t what your goal feels like, go back to the drawing board and find something that you want work towards now. Continually phrasing your goal as ‘something I want to work towards’ will remind you that the everyday, sometimes uninspiring grind gets to that moment of satisfaction and achievement.
Move beyond motivation – When the going gets tough, we often search for some feeling of motivation – like we felt at the start – to keep us going. But on the rocky road to any goal are a variety of feelings, good and bad, and we have to negotiate through them somehow. Waiting for a feeling of energy, a surge of motivation will leave you stuck. Thankfully, you can move forward without motivation. And feelings of motivation can return if you cling consistently to the basics of what you would be doing if you had motivation. Expect days where you don’t feel like it or are even positively down about training, then give it a go anyways. While I’m not suggesting you workout injured or ill, but overcoming the ‘blah’ days is vital in getting motivation back. Not only does working through the lulls help motivation to increase, it also allows you the opportunity to learn that good achievements can happen on low motivation days.
2014 has seen some massive achievements for CrossFit Colchester. Let’s bring on 2015!