Please enjoy the below blog, written by Lauren Brooke, from Kaia San Diego, written to help her fellow Kaia sisters in their goal setting journey
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to spend a little time with some of the lovely KAIA FIT San Diego ladies and talk about goal setting. For those of you who missed it or live elsewhere, and for those of who need a little refresher- let’s GOal!
So you may be wondering- Who is this girl- and why is she talking about goal setting? Fair enough. Well, my name is Lauren Brooke and while I often like to introduce myself as best friend of the inspirational powerhouse behind KAIA FIT San Diego, Tara Szen, I am also currently getting my Masters Degree in Sport Psychology and working toward becoming a certified mental strength consultant. In other words, it’s my job to help performers and athletes (such as you ladies) work through mental barriers that are limiting performance. I truly believe that each and every one of us has what it takes to be our best selves, and that it is just a matter or breaking through the barriers to let that self free. Often, those barriers are the mind games we play with ourselves. The good news is that these are games you can learn to win. Just like a strong core helps you hold those planks, a strong mental skill set can help you hold your focus, build your confidence, and achieve your goals.
On that note, back to goal-setting… We’ve all set goals. We’ve most likely all achieved a goal, and unfortunately we all probably know the feeling of letting a goal slip through the cracks. I love the way Henry Ford put it when he said “obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals.” I like to look as goal setting like I look at cooking. If you really want to knock out that killer meal you’re planning, it helps to have a specific recipe. Don’t get me wrong, I like to get as free spirited in the kitchen as the next person, adding or leaving out a little of this or that here and there (you know… a splash of wine in the sauce pan, a splash of wine in the glass…) In the end though, this approach often leads to a meal that can only be described by the boyfriend as “ummmm… interesting”. I will admit that I’ve knocked out a few masterpieces without a recipe, but then I am always lost when I try to recreate it. Same goes for goal-setting- stick to a plan, and not only will you set yourself up for success, but you will be able to recreate that success and find ways to make it even better next time. Here is your recipe for successful goal-setting:
- Large serving of Performance based goals, hold the Outcome based goals.
- The term “goal” gets thrown around a lot, but let’s get a little more specific. Basically there are two main of goals: Performance and Outcome. Performance based goals are goals that relate to your past performance, and are therefore in your direct control. For example: setting a new personal best for holding a plank or for your next 5K, completing a half marathon, sticking to your nutritional plan, or making more time for your friends and family are all performance-based goals. Outcome based goals are goals, on the other hand, are goals that measure your performance against that of others, and are generally out of your control. For example: holding the longest plank in class, winning the next 5K, or eating healthier than your friend or partner are all outcome based goals.
- We live in a world that is often chaotic. There are a lot of things that are out of our control. By setting and focusing on performance-based goals, you turn your attention to aspects in your life that are in your control, and allow those that are out of your control take care of themselves. After all, this is your journey. Where someone else is in their journey does nothing to invalidate or validate your actions, and therefore outcome-based goals are often irrelevant.
- Keep in mind, however, that this does not mean that you can’t be competitive. Sure, you may really want to win that next 5K. If that is a realistic possibility for you, then setting a performance-based goal of running your best possible race is going to set you up even better than setting the outcome based goal of winning the race. If you physically and mentally train to run your best race, then the you have set yourself up to win if that’s in the cards, but more importantly to focus on what you can do to run your strongest race. If you aim to win, your focus shifts to what is in the control of others, selling yourself short. Make sense?
- One serving each of S,M,A,R,&T
- Once you set a performance goal, make sure it’s a SMART goal. What’s a smart goal, you ask?
- A smart goal is a goal that is:
- Specific: Make your goal precise and clear so that you know exactly what you are aiming for. For example, “I want to increase my average mile pace” is much more specific than “I want to be a better runner.” Don’t be afraid to break a big goal into lots of smaller specific goals!
- Measurable: Try to put your goal in terms that can be measured so that you gage your success. For example: “I want to increase my mile pace by 15 seconds”
- Adjustable: Life happens! Be ready do adjust your goal if necessary. You want it to be challenging enough to motivate you, but not so challenging that you are discouraged.
- Reason: Why do you want to accomplish this goal? Dig deep and come up with a reason that reaches below the surface. For example, you may want to lose weight so that you look better in your summer clothes or bathing suit. That is a fine reason, but try to dig a little deeper. How will that make you feel? Sexy? Empowered? Strong? Try to come up with a powerful and personal word or statement that embodies the real reason you are striving for the goal and WRITE IT DOWN. Put this word or statement somewhere where you see it everyday (for example- in your gym bag, on our cell phone, on a sticky note on our mirror or car dashboard).
- Time-based: When do you want to accomplish your goal by? Without an end date, it is easy to move the goal to the back burner. Hold yourself accountable by putting it on the calendar! For example: “I want to increase my mile pace by 15 seconds every 2 weeks.”
- Chef’s tips:
- Break it down! Goal setting is like a layered cake- there are lots of steps to create the final product. Take a big goal, and break it down into pieces. Making a beautiful layered cake may be a daunting task, but if you think of it as making the cake batter, then the filling, then the frosting, it is easily attainable. Same goes for your personal goals- set a big one and break it down into smaller ones.
- Come up with strategies: Just like each layer of a cake has its own recipe, each part of a bigger goal should have its own set of strategies! Make a plan for how you are going to make each goal happen, including how you are going to combat your own excuses. (Ex: Focus on my breathing and increasing stride length when running, picturing my strong unbreakable core when planking, setting my workout clothes out the night before, or when I tell myself that I’ve earned to skip a workout or indulge in unnecessary calories I will look back at my reason for setting my goals).
- write it down! A good recipe is most useful when it is written down and you can refer to it. The same goes for a good goal setting plan! Write down goals, strategies, and motivators, and put your plan where you can see it everyday. Remember, “It’s a dream until you write it down, and then it’s a goal.”
- Add a pinch of trust in yourself! You have all the ingredients it takes to be the best version of yourself, its all a matter of putting them together into a recipe for success. Believe in your ability to make it happen!
- It all boils down to:
Performance goal+ SMART+ Break it down + Strategize+ Write it down+ trust= SUCCESS
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”- Zig Ziglar