The use of goal setting is used throughout life, goal setting can be a very effective tool in sport and exercise and is utilised constantly in professional sport for example Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would set his team the goal of winning the Premier League. With regards to the public (people like you and me) goals such as get up to 6am tomorrow morning to go to Boot Camp!!!
The use of goals can be a great help in your personal development. Goals when used properly can also have a great motivational effect when achieved. It is very important that the goals set are realistic and achievable, a good way of ensuring this is (if available) have a sit down with a personal trainer, coach or someone in the know and set your goals.
For example if a normal member of the public in their first week of exercising to set themselves a goal of losing 8 pounds in the first week. Failure to reach goals can have a detrimental effect on a person’s desire to keep on exercising. With the correct use of goal setting e.g. lose 2 pounds each week for 4 weeks would be a much more appropriate goal. Meeting the target for the first week will enhance mood and motivation to keep on exercising.
A great idea is to right down your goals somewhere clearly visible to act as a constant reminder of what you’re trying to achieve, keeping a diary to track your progress could also help with your goals.
An goal setting called the S.M.A.R.T approach can provide structure for your training program.
S – pecific
M – easurable
A – djustable
R – ealistic
T – ime based
Specific goals need to be set, saying something like getting faster is too general, if getting faster is the aim, how much faster? If losing weight is the aim, how much weight? Goals need to be Measurable, a log of your progress can be very effective and help keep you on track. You could do a weekly/monthly progress to check to see how well you are doing.It is important that the goals set are Adjustable to accommodate unforeseen events such as an injury, bad weather conditions etc. As mentioned the goals need to be Realistic, but also if the goals are too simple you won’t feel as much satisfaction. Goals being Time Based is needed to help keep motivation, e.g. if you have a week to lose two pounds, too many days off exercising or eating correctly is not advisable. Without a time line there is a tendency to procrastinate or get bored.
So have a sit down relax and have a nice long think about what you are trying to achieve, remember to set realistic goals, write them down and away you go. Try not to set goals too much longer than 6 months to ensure that you stay interested and motivated.