Goal Writing 101

Why do you CrossFit? To be a future Bomb Squad member?

Why do you do Crossfit? What are you trying to accomplish with all of this self punishment? Maybe you want to make it to the Fury Team or just stay competitive with that one other guy at the gym. Maybe you want to train for events like 5K runs, mud runs or triathalons. Are you training to be better at your chosen rec league sport? Maybe you just want to look better naked (nothing wrong with that). It doesn’t matter what your reason is for doing crossfit, as long as you know what your reason is. You need to have a goal to your training or you will flounder and you won’t stand a chance of hitting your target. Once you know why you are doing all of this, you set some goals to make that happen.

To get that first Pull UP?

Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize is that they set themselves up for failure when they set goals. Too many goals are vague, immeasurable and/or far overreaching. Maybe the goal was well written, but we went no further than stating the goal. Without an action plan, the goal is nothing more than a momentary wish that we hope will stumble its way into reality
Before you set any goals (not resolutions) for the coming year you should know some of the rules for successful goal writing and goal achievement. Whether you are looking at a crossfit related goal of strength or speed or a personal goal, using some of these steps can make success much more likely.

To loose 30 pounds like JJ?

1: Make your goal measurable. Making a goal of “eating healthier” or “getting stronger” is vague and nonspecific. How do you know when you are successful or starting to drift off track? Set specific parameters that give you definite markers for when you are on track or need to adjust your behaviors to stay on target. Try using percentages or counting events of success or failure. For example, “I will eat according to paleo guidelines for 19/21 (or 90%) meals each week.” Or “I will eat a non-paleo item no more than 2 times in one week.”

2: Make your goal achievable. If you want to lift more weight, be realistic. If you are new to lifting you can expect more gains. If you have been lifting for more than about 12 months then gains will come slower. If your current 1 rep max deadlift is 315 pounds, then a max rep at 500 is pretty unlikely (unless you follow rule #3 religiously). It is far better to set the bar at a reachable level and need to set a new goal soon versus setting it too high and failing. You can always increase your goal if you accomplish it sooner than expected, but it can be discouraging to work you tail off and fail because that 500lb bar won’t get off the floor. Similarly, if you have never eaten Paleo, don’t expect 100% compliance right out of the gates. Write your goal for 80 or 90% adherence. As you reach success with that goal you can adjust up. That is psychologically healthier than the discouragement of failing at the 100% goal that was unrealistic. On the other side of this coin, don’t set your goal as something that is inevitably going to happen. If you have been in prep for 2 months, don’t write “making it to crossfit classes” as one of your goals. If you haven’t made it to crossfit within 4-5 months then something went wrong.

To win the State Championships like our Banat Soccer team?

3: Make your goal something you can, and will, work on regularly. Choosing to get a sub 7 minute 2k row is a great goal, unless you have no access to a rower and cannot come in for any additional work. Success in your goals doesn’t happen just because you set the goal. If it is worth having then it is worth working on. If you really want to run faster, lift more, or eat cleaner then be prepared for the daily effort that comes with your goal. Talk to your trainers if you need help on making your goal happen, but realize that strength, speed, conditioning and doubleunders take a lot of time and regular work. Also, if you are going to be spending the next 10-12 months on this, make sure it is something you really care about. If not, you will get tired of it and failure is imminent.

Make some goals and add them to our 2012 Goals board!

4: Write a plan of action. If you know that it is going to take work (see #3) then plan that work out ahead of time. Do you need to buy your own jump rope? Do you need to buy a paleo cookbook (or a crockpot)? Maybe you need a calendar for planning and setting aside days for working on your goals. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Use the people and resources around you to make that plan. Fury’s trainers can help you structure a regimen if your goal is fitness or diet related. Also, be realistic about your schedule limitations. This is not a time to expect yourself to spend 3 hours in the gym every day all year long. Make your plan fit your life while still stretching yourself. The cliché fits: Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.

Here are more helpful guidelines for writing goals for yourself, but this will get you off to a good start. First, figure out what you want to get out of your training. Then, include objective measurements, make them realistic and achievable and make a plan for each goal. Be part of the 1% that makes things happen for yourself.

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