It is that time of year again…….we are looking back on the last 12 months and thinking to ourselves, what have we achieved and what would we like to accomplish next? According to the ‘Valens under the Microscope’ survey almost 50% of our members set annual goals in CrossFit. This statistic is consistent with studies as many people, in general, do not make FORMAL goals. I was talking to someone in the box the other day who said ‘I have been doing CrossFit for almost four years now and I haven’t got a Muscle Up’, I replied ‘have you actually been trying to get one?’ Are many of us just aimlessly coming into the box without goals in mind? Just because you have been doing CrossFit for a long time doesn’t mean that you are magically going to be able to do all the movements and skills and be at the same level as someone else with the same years of experience.

I like to think of Goal Setting like ‘planning for a journey’; you wouldn’t go on holiday without some sort of a plan? When we first think about going on a holiday we do our research online and talk to other people who have also travelled there (when we want to make progress in CrossFit we need to think about where we are at already? What skills can I already do, what weights can I lift?), next we would work out a budget (how long do you need to achieve these skills or that level of Fitness?), then you would book your flights and accommodation (lock in your goals and make yourself accountable by writing them down), next we find places to eat and visit (what do you specifically want to achieve that is relevant and meaningful to you?), and then finally with all of this information we make a schedule of what we would like to do each day (what is the deadline that you will give yourself to make this progress and what does the final result look like?). Yeah, you could ‘wing’ your trip without a plan, but you would probably end up spending more money because you have left everything to the last minute and you may run out of time to see everything because you didn’t try and fit it into your schedule. The same can be said about goal setting, or lack thereof.

Setting goals can have so many advantages but most of all they will MOTIVATE you and give you DIRECTION. A good way to make goals powerful is to make ‘SMART’ goals.

Specific- Make your goals clear and well defined. Define your goal without ambiguous language.

Bad: I want to get Fit

Good: I want to be able to deadlift double my own body weight

Measureable - Can you measure ‘I want to get Fit’?, You need to know when your goal is accomplished and be able to measure the outcome.

Bad: I want to go to the box more

Good: I want to go to the box 3 times a week for a year

Achievable - Set goals that are attainable; make your goal challenging and exciting, but also make sure that they are achievable because if they aren’t then this can be de-motivating.

Bad: I want to go to the Games

Good: I want to be able to do RX weights for each WOD

Relevant-  Is the goal you are trying to achieve worthwhile? Make your goals consistent with the ‘bigger picture’.

Bad: I want to be ripped

Good: I want to lose 5kg in the next 6months

Time Phased - You need to give yourself a time frame to work in; ‘a goal is a dream with a deadline’.

Bad: I want to do double unders

Good: I want to be able to do double unders in the next two months

Once you have made a SMART goal/s make yourself accountable and write them down, put them up on a wall or tell someone.