Why Should We Set Goals?

In last week’s article we spoke about the importance of goals and how to set them.  We used the SMART acronym in order to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time based goals.  But why should you actually care about setting goals?  What benefit does it serve?

I think this is a fantastic question and one that often gets overlooked.  All of us should be setting goals yearly in order to help keep us focused.  Not only when it pertains to fitness, but also in other realms of life.

I believe that part of the reason that people fail to succeed much of the time has little to do with how hard they work or how motivated they are – although those are two major factors – but it’s because of their lack of prior planning and preparation.  

Motivation wanes over time.  No matter how “focused” or committed someone is to something, motivation alone will not suffice.  There has to be a deep rooted why, or as Mark Divine puts it, a north star driving your focus.  

When I was training and competing at the highest level of CrossFit there was at least 1 day per week that I had no motivation to train.  What kept me coming back each day was the voice in the back of my head telling me that the short term pleasure of skipping a workout would lead to long term consequences of me not qualifying for the CrossFit Regionals.  

I was determined to leave no stone unturned in my quest.  If I failed to accomplish my goal simply based on my merits then so be it.  This was my north star and always got me over the hump when my motivation no longer sufficed.  If you want to lose weight only for external motivators, it’s going to be very difficult to stay on “task” when life gets in the way.  Think about why weight loss is truly important to you, what it means to your life, your self esteem, your relationships and more.  You can insert any goal you have for the ‘weight loss’ example above.

In terms of planning or failing to plan I think it’s absolutely crucial for every adult to set at least one personal and professional goal each year.  These are things that will help to advance their career, drive and fuel their passions as well as help them live longer and more fulfilling lives for both themselves and their families.  At the end of the day we all deserve to live life to the fullest, and not just go through the motions.  

Part of what allows humans to thrive is challenge.  These challenges could be work related (go back and get a degree to advance your career) or physical (run a marathon or compete in a CrossFit competition).  Setting challenges for yourself, and subsequent goals along the way will keep you constantly evolving and craving more.  

Nothing makes me more sad as a coach than when I see someone who has given up and essentially settled for mediocre.  I think we all deserve the best.  Setting goals is so fricken important and that’s why we push these consultations so hard.  If you’re a member at Westchester Fit and never took us up on this, now is the time, I promise you won’t regret it 🙂 – book a goal setting consultation today!

– Coach Chris

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