If you have set goals before with a health professional, chances are you have heard of the S.M.A.R.T. method to ensure adequate goal setting. I love this method as it gives you a plan rather than just a dream. Regardless of how you set goals, the 80% achievement rule is one way to determine if your goal setting method is working.
If someone tells me they want to improve their fitness level, my follow-up question is how do you know your fitness has improved? – what will you be able to do or do easier? This question hits our ‘Measurable’ target in SMART goals. These are important – it is like wanting to lose weight but not paying any attention to clothing size, scale weight, or belt length.
An example – goal setting method adjustment
If your goal is to walk 10,000 steps daily, but you are only achieving this on 4-days of the week, you are not reaching an 80% achievement rate, and therefore an adjustment is required.
Adjusting goals is important and will always need to be considered. Perhaps, moving your initial goal to commence in three weeks, once you have completed a new, steppingstone goal in the meantime.
Use this goal setting method to assess, evaluate, readjust your plans to ensure your long-term success. If you want to be doing a gym session 3-days of the week, 2-swimming sessions, and 1x 5 km run. But you have not moved in the past month or two, kicking off with six sessions in the first week is going to hurt and likely hard to achieve until it becomes part of your routine.
So, making 3-gym sessions, then after a week of achieving, include a run, then add in a swim. Gradually increasing the workload is going to feel less overwhelming, reduce time as a barrier, and allow the body more rest days as you work on increasing your total weekly exercise workload.
The question is, what is your current goal?
Are you achieving it? If you are not, how long have you not been achieving this? If it has been two years of going to the gym three times a week, perhaps some reflection is in order.
Another factor to consider is – how important is achieving this goal REALLY to you?