In It to Win It: Goal Setting Guide

GOALS: Everyone’s got them, yet hardly anyone follows through. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

1. Why you need to set goals.

2. How to avoid lame goals that are destined to fail you– NOT the other way around.

3. How to know if your goal is a winner.

Alright, Goal Getter. So you likely have a vague idea of what you want to achieve… kinda. Or your list of “goals” is a dozen items deep, with no specific plan for action. Maybe you’re a veteran athlete and you think this sort stuff is for newbies.

Well… you’re wrong. And even of you make progress for the time being, you’re selling yourself short in the long run. While 45% of Americans go about setting New Year’s Resolutions, less than 1 in 10 people actually achieve their goals, according to a University of Scranton study.


Why set goals in the first place?

  1. Insurance against burnout. CrossFit is famous for churning out athletes who are complete converts… for about 18-24 months. Without a roadmap, it’s really easy to fall off the wagon. The high-intensity WODs, once exciting, now seem draining. Weight room PRs come slower. The fat falls off a teensy bit at a time. Without a goal and plan, it’s easy to say “screw it” and go back to your old Zumba class.
  2. Achieving flow. You recall the feeling of starting anew. The first 3 months of CrossFit are like learning a foreign language. You’re learning new acronyms and jargon. (“WTF is an EMOM?”) You’re sore. You have to scale nearly everything. You’re out of “flow”.  The next 3-12 months of CrossFit are tantalizing. You’re hitting PRs left and right. You finally know what a power clean is. You have a buddy in your class. Your ability is finally starting to catch up to the challenge. “You’re in flow”. Then when your skills are starting to get really awesome, but without a clear sense of where you’re going or what goals are best for you, you might start feeling like classes just aren’t cutting it. You’re falling out of the flow. As you might see, flow is a picky lady.

Why Do Most Goals Fail?

Another little-known pitfall of telling your friends an outcome goal: It can actually make you statistically less likely to achieve it! Check out this TED Talk on this phenomena.

Set SMART Goals

Ah, SMART goals. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through a corporate meeting, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Your behavioral goal isn’t a go until it passes the SMA(a)RT test.

Is your goal…

SPECIFIC: What is the test? So you want to run faster. 100 Meters? Or 1,000 Meters?
MEASURABLE: What metric will you use to measure progress and define success? “I want to look better in my jeans.” is not measurable by any metric besides getting the zipper up. How about “I want to lose 5% body fat (and in doing so, I’ll feel better in everything I wear.)”
ATTAINABLE: We’re all for aiming high, but don’t set yourself up to fail. Qualifying for the CrossFit Games with one year of prep is just not going to happen.
(A)CCOUNTABILITY: Who will support you and hold you to the process? Is it a fellow CrossFitter? A friend at work who isn’t afraid to tell you to go to the gym instead of happy hour? (Note: This isn’t part of the original SMART framework, but we think it’s too important to leave out!)
RELEVANT: Is this goal meaningful to you personally? Do you really care about six pack abs, or do you just assume it’s something you should have? Answer this carefully, because if the goal isn’t something that excites you, then you should find one that does.
TIMELY: When is your deadline?

If your goal doesn’t meet these standards, let’s workshop them until they do. By taking the time to make sure the goal is serving you well, you’re MUCH more likely to make it become a reality.

2016 Goal-Crushing Events

As a follow-up to our December Goal Crushing Clinic, we’re setting up workshops and clinics to help CrossFitters achieve the most common goals. Nutrition, pull-ups, endurance, and more to be announced shortly!

Head over to our Facebook Events page, and click “Subscribe” to make sure you don’t miss these and future awesome events!

We want to help you achieve your goals!

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Ready to take this to the next level? Let’s go!