Revisiting your goals can happen anytime during your journey. Maybe the initial goals you set no longer apply. Maybe your goals have drastically changed. Maybe you have reached your goals and it's time to create new ones. Or maybe the goal you had in mind no longer fits in with the goals you have for the rest of your lifestyle. Sometimes it's important to take a step back to revisit what your current goals are. How do they tie back to your "why"?
When goal setting is done correctly, our goal can help us to feel happier and more confident along our journey. When setting a goal or revisiting a previous goal, it's important to think of our goals in 3 different ways.
Long Term Goal: This goal is your ultimate goal. This is where the "why" comes in, why is it important for you to hit this goal? We are all more likely to stay consistent through tough times if we are clear with this goal and can relate this goal back to our "why."
We encourage Macrostaxers to focus on long term goals that ditch the scale. Do you want your clothes to fit better? Do you want to look better in pictures? Do you want to climb a mountain and not feel out of breath? Set a new personal best for your marathon time?
However, we know some opt to create a long term goal centered around the number on the scale. Though having a weight loss goal is not a bad thing, basing all progress on the scale can make you feel defeated if the number on the scale isn't moving. If your long term goal is weight based, we encourage you to think about this number and why it feels like progress for you. If setting a number goal, it's important to ask yourself a few questions:
How did you determine that number?
Has your body ever been at that weight previously?
If your body can't reach that low number without sacrificing other positives - sleep, recovery and performance, are you willing to sacrifice that to meet this goal?
How do you anticipate this number will bring you happiness?
Short Term Goal: it's also important to identify short term goals that will ultimately help you reach your long term goal. Short term goals are small changes, small steps each day that become large steps over time. Some examples of short term goals are:
Setting a consistent workout schedule that works for your lifestyle- if your long term goal is to set a new PR, finding a training program that supports that and tracking progress!
Hitting green thumbs consistently in the app
Focusing on hydration
Working to get or consistently getting good sleep
Having short term goals can also help you stay consistent and positive when surprises come your way. An unexpected trip? An injury? Family member illness? Having small goals that you can work through every day will help you stay on track even when those unexpected life surprises come your way.
How to implement short term goals to ultimately reach your long term goals:
Are sweets your downfall? Could you reduce your sweet intake to 1 day per week and sub fruit during the week to help with sweet cravings?
Do weekends deter your progress and push you further away from your long term goal? Could you reduce your weekend outings to once a month, or plan ahead in the app?
Could you go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each night?
Can you find a workout partner to help motivate you to get to the gym?
If you are stuck on where to go with your goals we suggest starting with the acronym, SMART.
Specific- it can be easy to make the statement "I want to lose body fat." Though this is great, we can make that statement more specific, "I want to lose 1% body fat in 2 months."
Measurable- the goal should be something you can measure. We mentioned above trying to stay away from using the scale as the only measurement. How can you measure this goal? Are there multiple forms of measurement to guarantee you are seeing progress?
Attainable- Again wanting to lose body fat is a great goal, but we also want to make sure our goals are attainable. Striving to lose 10% body fat in one month would not be attainable, nor would it be healthy.
Realistic- Though wanting to achieve 8% body fat for a male and 15% body fat for a female is a goal, those body fat percentages may not be realistic. The time, workout demands and consistency it takes may not fit with your lifestyle.
Time specific- For both short term and long term goals it is important to set a timeline. Maybe your long term goal is to ride a century. You've been lightly cycling for the last two months but wanting to get more serious. Your long term goal is to complete the century in one year. You find a race you want to participate in and register. Short term goals may be:
Find a coach or specific training program in the first two weeks
Week 3 - register for 3 shorter distance rides to prepare for the ride environment
Week 4 - Functional Threshold Power test to determine starting point
Month 4 - you have been consistently following the program to gain more miles
Month 5 - re-test Functional Threshold Power test
Month 8 - all rides leading up to century are completed
Whatever your goal or situation may be, it's important to have a specific plan. A plan to keep you on track, keep you accountable, keep your spirits up and keep you focused on the bigger prize. If at any point you struggle with determining your goals, reach out to the coach in StaxChat for help!