Hi everyone, Tyler Morrow here with my first blog post for Motus Strength!
Let’s talk a little bit about what can really set you apart in your training as a fitness junkie, trainee or athlete – Setting Goals and implementing Systems to achieve them.
Over the past couple years I have had some opportunities that allowed me to start looking at myself as a goal-oriented individual. Not only have I been able to set goals and reach them for myself, but I have been fortunate to work as a coach and mentor to help others achieve goals that they thought were out of their grasp.
Personally, I often found that I was falling short on achieving the goals I wanted – be it physical or other non-fitness goals. Not only was I not achieving my own goals, but this was also reflecting upon my clients who were not meeting their goals – which is what they hired me to do in the first place. Super frustrating!
Fortunately, through failure brings the opportunity to allow yourself to assess your behaviours, learn from your mistakes, and make the necessary adjustments to improve on the processes that you are implementing.
And that’s what I did.
Importance of Goal Setting in Training
If you want to be successful in your training (or anything in life really) you need to define what that success looks like to you. Take the time to sit down, write down, discuss, and just consciously think about what success looks like to you. Intentionally question whether the goals you want to achieve are actually necessary to reach the desired outcomes that you align with success. It all has to line up for the process to work.
When developing a training plan or a rehab and treatment protocol, us trainers and clinicians follow a well-established principle: Specific Adaptions to Imposed Demands (also abbreviated to the “SAID principle”). What the SAID principle does for us is it helps us build and implement a plan or process with intent. Without any intent we are essentially placing random stimulus and putting our body through unnecessary stress. And random stimulus with unnecessary stress is a recipe to achieve random goals and unnecessary outcomes, ultimately resulting in not achieving the goals we really want and wasting our time.
Goal Setting Strategies
An easy way to begin setting up goals is by using the acronym SMART:
S – Specific (Makes the goal identifiable, focused, and tangible)
M – Measurable (Creates a clear definition of success by defining the metrics you will use along the way)
A – Attainable (Ensuring that the goal is challenging, but also realistic)
R – Relevant (Make the goal relevant to you – try to evoke some emotion with the goal in mind)
T – Time-Bound (Be accountable. Put a realistic timeline on this goal to allow for discipline and habits to form)
Using the SMART acronym is a super easy way to identify and outline your goals in a way that becomes more clear to you and also helps to create a thought process that sparks a plan of action.
Breaking Down Goals to Create Systems
When starting to think up goals, it is often easy to focus on the bigger vision of what we would like to see ourselves achieve [Ie. Reach a specific strength goal (deadlift 500 lbs), or a weight loss goal (lose 20lbs)] – which is great, but those are generally the bigger goals that we would like to achieve over the longer term. To achieve these long-term goals it is imperative that we implement systems, processes, and habits through consistent short-term goals.
An effective strategy is to breakdown these long-term goals into shorter-term goals that will allow you to build daily and weekly goals into longer-term results. Like laying a brick per day or week, eventually you will have a wall. Focus less on the wall and more on laying each brick consistently over time.
A practical breakdown could look like this: 1 year goal< 6 month goal< 1 month goal< today – allowing yourself to recognize what can I do today to reach my ultimate long-term goal. By acknowledging what you need to do today allows you to build the discipline and accountability to achieve the long-term goal(s) that you want.
Even myself as a strength coach who is educated on how to achieve goals in health and fitness, I have had to reach out to mentors, coaches and friends to help develop process that work for me and the clients I work with. The circumstances we find ourselves in life are often a direct result of the behaviours that we routinely engage in. By recognizing what we can do on a daily basis, we will be able to achieve long-term goals by setting up habits with intent that line-up with those long-term goals.
With all of that said, if you are struggling to obtain the results that you want, seek out mentorship. Rather than going through the same routines and habits that have led you to results that you are unsatisfied with, look to those who have developed the processes to ensure that you have the right systems in place to achieve your goals!
Tyler Morrow, Writer at Motus Strength Health Club
D.C. (Candidate) – Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2018 – 2022)
CSCS – National Strength and Conditioning Association (2016)
B.Sc. Kinesiology – University of Waterloo (2011-2015)