Goals are important. It's not always important that you reach them but it's important that you have them. They give you something to work toward and keep you progressing. Not everyone is great at setting goals or at setting goals that are helpful in pushing you toward progress. This is why we help our members set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
General goals are not very helpful. In CrossFit we use data to help us measure our fitness and health. Without specific milestones we have a hard time measuring if we've reached the goal. We need to be specific about the data we're going to collect. A smart goal states the what, why and how of the goal.
Along with specificity, our goals need to measurable. Setting a goal like "get better at pull-ups" is not as measurable as "perform 5 pull-ups in a row." This second goal is both specific and measurable. Once you have reached the measurement then we know we can move on and set a new goal.
Goals should make you stretch yourself to be better but not so far out of reach that you don't ever see progress. If you've never done 1 pull-up making your first goal to be 10 pull-ups will seem daunting and maybe even discouraging. But setting your first goal as 1 pull-up you can achieve that in a reasonable amount of time and not get bored or discouraged in the pursuit.
Goals should measure outcomes, not activities. Back to our pull-up example, simply "working on pull-ups" is not a good enough goal because that is achieved the very first time you try and no actual pull-ups have been achieved. The result we are wanting is to perform pull-ups not simply to work on performing pull-ups. This also informs how we approach reaching the goal. If the plan we have for reaching the goal isn't working, then we need to reassess the plan.
We meet with our members every 3 months from the date they start training with us. We use this as a time to check in with them to see how we can better serve them as well as set a new goal. We use this recurring 3-month meeting as our time constraint on the goal. If a goal has no time boundary then you may just work on it forever but more likely you'll get bored and stop altogether. The specific, measurable, achievable, and results-based goals we set with our members are designed to be reached within 3 months and then we write a plan to make this happen.
This type of care and attention to your goals isn't offered in every gym. We feel it's important. We've seen people get better at a lot of different skills in a shorter amount of time than otherwise would have happened. Try this with yourself. Think of something you'd like to accomplish and make a S.M.A.R.T. goal for achieving it. We'd love to hear what you accomplished.
Now go live better