Welcome to my blog “Mind Games”. I’m Laura Easter of Active Attitude. I’m working in collaboration with Style Health and Fitness to bring you monthly top tips of psychological skills to get ahead and improve your training and performance.
Most people have heard of SMART goal setting but ask yourself ‘Do I really apply it?’ Clear goals not only provide motivation by having a sense of direction, they also provide a feeling of pride and a self-esteem boost when its achieved. Here it is:
Specific – What exactly is it that you want to achieve e.g. to participate in the 12 mile obstacle course Tough Mudder on Saturday 16th August 2014.
Measurable – How it will be achieved e.g. identify my current fitness level then follow the tough mudder bootcamp four times a week increasing to five times a week in the 6 weeks before. I will set aside Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 6pm-7pm to do it.
Achievable – This is about whether it can actually be done.
Realistic – Beginner exercisers often set unrealistic goals and try to do too much too quickly. Experienced exercisers can fall foul of setting goals that are not consistent with their lifestyle. Be reasonable with your intended frequency, duration and intensity. E.g. having done the fitness test it may be more realistic to start the intermediate bootcamp.
Time bound – It is crucial to not only have a completion date but also a date to start from. If you follow a programme set a time to review it such as in 6/12 weeks. E.g. I will start the training three months before the Tough Mudder event and increase the intensity with 6 weeks to go.
Remember goals need to be flexible for example if illness prevents a week’s training don’t abandon the goal altogether, adjust it.
A final point on goals – it can be really useful to display your goal somewhere prominent. This acts as a reminder of the progress you’ve made and what you’re working towards. Very handy on those days its tempting to skip a training session.