Before getting started today, I’d like to begin this blog, and all others following this one with a “Life Hack”, which is just a tip or trick that I have learned to take your workouts, or your life to the next level.
Today’s life hack, is a tool called a “vision board”. This device has several modes of presentation, but the idea remains the same across all version. You are placing something it a common place that you frequent, whether it’s the bathroom or your bedroom or on your phone, wherever you spend a lot of time. This thing has all the goals you are aiming to accomplish. Your fitness goals, your long term goals, and everything that needs to happen for your life to be where you want it to be. Be ambitious with this board. It’s good to have short term goals, but this isn’t the place for those. I have yearlong goals on mine. You can put yours on your phone of computer if you wish, but for me, I find my phone to be a huge distraction. I’ll see it and be like, “Oh cool” then continue to scroll through the cesspool of nonsense that is my Facebook feed. I opted to create a poster that has several goals that I intend to achieve this year, and a couple of long term goals. I placed it in my studio, where I spend most of my time, whether it’s because I’m recording podcasts, or reading, or researching stuff for my next topic, and even napping, I spend most of my time here, so I can look at my board and automatically get motivated to working towards making everything on that vision board happen.
A key component of success is achieving goals. This may seem obvious, but are you setting goals? If you are setting goals, are you reaching them? I can assure you that the small business owners and corporate CEOs alike all know how to set goals and achieve them.
In today’s blog post, I am going to help you set your first SMART goal. You might be familiar with this strategy, but whether you are or are not, if you are not absolutely killing it with your success, you might be able to use some help.
So what are SMART goals? No, these goals aren’t anything fancy that you need a degree to complete. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measureable, Action-Plan, Realistic, and Time-Oriented.
Go ahead think of something you want to achieve. A goal you want to set AND reach. We’re going to set a goal today that you are going to crush. I promise. It can be anything, big or small. Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
The first letter is specific. You want your goal to be narrow. Something you can focus on. Just saying, for example, “I want to be healthier” doesn’t really give you anything to work on. What is it about you that you want to be healthier? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want a stronger heart? Do you want to run a road race or do a mud run or something? For the purpose of this podcast, I am going to use strength gains on bench press.
The second letter is Measureable. This helps hold you accountable for your goal. You need a number. How much money do you want to save? How many miles do you want to run? Or if you want to get faster, how fast? Or for my example, how MUCH weight do I want to lift on bench? I’m going with a 5% gain to my max on bench, which is currently 210. This gives us something to track, so that we know we are progressing towards our goal.
The next part is a big part that most people miss. Action-plan means having a plan. Oprah Winfrey is quoted saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Setting a goal is great, but if you don’t know how to reach that goal, you aren’t going to make much progress. For my example, I want to increase my bench by 5% by increasing my overload on bench twice a week. This means I am going to overload my chest muscles twice a week, with proper rest, in order to make a 5% strength gain.
Being realistic is something that many people do wrong. They bite off more than they can chew, so to speak. I could have said that I want to bench 300 pounds by next week. While one day, I may be able to bench 300 pounds if that is something I wanted to do, it is not likely to happen for quite a long time. Which brings us to the last point.
Time. You want to have a deadline. And on that isn’t that far in the future. You can make a long-term goal. I could say that I want to increase my bench to 300 by the end of the year, and that stays true to being realistic. But I want to increase my bench by 5% in a month gives me a short term goal to strive for so that I can know I am making steady progress. Deadlines are important to make sure we are making strides every day to make sure we achieve our goals. How many times have you turned in a homework assignment right on time? I think it’s a pretty safe bet you would have never done that homework if you didn’t have a time constraint. The difference here is you are doing something you actually WANT to do.
If you don’t WANT to make a change, it isn’t going to happen. You are going to find every single reason NOT to make progress. I can’t run today because it is cold outside. You went over your budget today, so what is an extra few bucks? You should write this goal down, and on the top of the goal, you need to write WHY you want to achieve this goal. And I don’t want it to be a superficial reason. Losing weight so you “look better” is likely going to fail. Why do you want to look better? I don’t want you to be setting this goal for someone else, either. “I want the girls to like the way I look when I go to the beach for Spring Break.” Why do you care what they think? I want to hear something like, I want to lose weight so I can feel more confident about my body because of the way it makes ME feel. I want to save some money so that I can have more financial freedom to do the things I want to do. Be selfish with your goal. Make it something that YOU want. That being said, if being able to take your family on a vacation is important to you, or being healthy so you can see your grandkids grow up is important to you, then that is fine. But it has got to be something that you truly want. If you are setting a goal because someone told you to set a goal, you will fail, eventually. You might make progress, and you might even hit a few short term goals, but it is not something that is going to stick with you. So write down your goal, and at the top of that goal, write WHY you want to do this. What is this goal doing for you?
Alright everyone, get out there, and get after it!