It’s almost done! My clients and I have set our one-year goals. When I see their deliciously audacious goals, I get butterflies. When I set my own I felt slight trepidation. Don’t you?
If you read my post last week, you’ve visualized your victory celebration one year from now. You know where you want to be in a year and have looked back to see how last year went. (See my goals at the end of this post.)
The next question is, where do you stand?
Right now you’re in one of these stages of behavioral change:
- Contemplation. You want to stop feeling stuck and are beginning to have awareness caused by not changing.
Slippery slope: Intention and awareness are powerful. But they’re not enough to execute action.
- Preparation. You are very aware of the problem and plan to take action within a month.
Downfall: It’s easy to get sidetracked or lose confidence.
- Action. Change is a priority. You are putting forth the effort and commitment to change.
Downfall: If you don’t have support or know what motivates you, you might quit.
Unfortunately, even if you know where you want to be in one year, it’s damn easy to get stuck in one of these stages. You can prevent this, however, by setting – wait for it – micro-goals.
The “A” Word
By now you know I’m a micro-goal fiend, and next week my clients and I will look at the smaller actions needed to reach our goals. This is a pretty epic benefit of having me around, because I’m pushy and persistent. No one’s going to be holding me accountable to my goals week after week, but I won’t let these guys and gals off the hook.
That’s right – I’m holding them accountable. If they don’t show up, fall off, or give up, I’m asking why and helping them get back on. Micro-goals – small, specific actions that make you feel successful – are key because-
- When you’ve got small goals you’re working towards every week, you’re less likely to get stuck in one of the stages of behavioral change.
- You stay focused.
- You move to the next stage when it’s time.
My Vision for 2015
It’s normal to feel anxious about setting goals. What if you don’t reach them? Are you a failure?
- Do 30 pull ups in six sets: Accomplished! Yep – in fact, at one point I was able to do them in five sets. Yow!!
- Remain injury free: Mostly. I have a few nagging things I have to manage, but nothing too major.
- Reduce my body fat by 2%: Not Really. This became a low priority until the very end of the year when I decided to do a photo shoot. But I did lose 1% and now sit at 21%, which feels good to me.
Am I a failure because I didn’t reach all my goals? Hell no. But I did learn a thing or two about what makes a goal successful, and I’ll use that knowledge in 2015. If I don’t reach these goals it means they weren’t enough of a priority to me.
This year I’m setting goals I’m certain are high priorities (and assuming I want to remain injury free). I feel more excitement now instead of nervousness:
1. Gain one inch in butt, focusing on upper glutes.
This is harder than it sounds, because I’ve been training for many years and need to push super hard to gain muscle. Eating more and a structured program is going to get me there, which leads me to…
2. Write my own six-month training program.
I write long-term strength-training programs for my clients so that they progress in a predictable manner. No plateaus – only GAINZ. So why don’t I do this for myself? So I’ve set several micro-goals that will help me write my 6-month plan by mid-January.
3. Do 10 consecutive unassisted pull ups.
Last year I got up to nine pull ups – YOW. Then I decided I wanted to increase my bench press and was happy with my v-taper. I laid off the pull ups, put them later in my workout, and even stopped doing them as frequently. Now I’m down to only six. Pull ups are one of those things that are brutally unforgiving. I really do want to attain that glorious number 10 this year though.
4. Gain more mastery over balance and reactive training.
I’ve never focused on these two areas, and now they’re my weaknesses. I hate being unsure if I can stand on one leg, and I’d like a better reaction time for quick movements. This will figure into my structured plan!
5. Deadlift 1.5x my body weight.
Deadlifting is fun, but it’s never been a true priority for me to get stronger. I stay stuck at about 1x my body weight. I think part of this is fear of hurting myself. But with a structured program, I know I can get to this goal IF it remains a high priority for me.
Goals give you the power of intention, and intention can propel you to action. Are you ready to make 2015 your best, most successful year yet? I am.
[Update, Jan 3, 2016: 2015 turned out to be quite a doozy. I chose to have a prophylactic double mastectomy in March with reconstruction in May. The recovery process was long and arduous, and while I returned to lifting in July, I had complications that prolonged my physical therapy. I did not reach a single goal I set here. Instead, I am simply grateful to be lifting, regaining strength, and building muscle. More to come in this year’s audacious goals post!]
This article originally appeared on www.workoutnirvana.com.