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The importance of goals

By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Marathon training, Workout | on August 27, 2018

I’ve been writing blog posts pretty consistently since 2013. I’ve covered a host of topics ranging from nutrition to fitness; mindset to marathons and a host of others in between. One topic that I have touched upon on a few occasions is goals. In life and in fitness, they are pivotal in getting you to where you want to be. So with that in mind, I want to discuss them again.

Anyone who has completed any professional training is likely to have some stage come across the acronym SMART with regards to goal setting. This is ensuring that a goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-framed. This is a given when it comes to goal-setting but whenever I teach on fitness courses and ask a group to develop their own SMART goals, they often fall short of several of these elements.

On the road to nowhere

Without goals, we’re driving to an unknown destination, we’re running to an unspecified finishing line. We’re on life’s treadmill where we repeat movements and actions on a continual, regular basis without progress. For some, maintenance and stagnation can be fine. Good income, decent fitness, good lifestyle, repetition of this can be fine. I, myself, have found this to be the case over the last couple of years. My business has grown reasonably organically, my training has been consistent, if not wholly focused, and I have enjoyed traveling, elements of socialising and working.

But there comes to a point. Am I happy to never get better again? To earn a little more each year; to lose a little fitness as my body ages; to run a little slower each year; or is it time to knuckle down and turn a few things around?

That’s the point with having goals. Goals will make you better. No goals won’t necessarily make you worse but they will pretty much guarantee stagnating your performance or quality of life.

Achieving goals

I started being a full-time personal trainer five years ago this September. I’d been part-time for a while and then decided to go all in. The crossover point was having enough money to pay the bills and rent. That was my goal. When that was achieved, the resignation letter went in and my life has been hugely better ever since. September, therefore, is always the start for me. The time when I feel it is a new year. A new time to take action and attack.

Having time away frees the mind. Frees it from the day-today job and the day-to-day distractions. Most DFT clients have also taken time away over the last few weeks and will hopefully come back fresher for it.

This freshness has allowed me to conjure up some exciting plans which should offer a significantly improved service and experience for all our clients. They are risky, they are exciting and they are undoubtedly scary! I will be heading out of my comfort zone on several occasions. But one thing will be for sure, come August 2019 when I am penning a blog pre the September kick-start, I will be much better for the experience.

Take action

Rather than this being a blog solely about me and my goals and plans, it’s purpose is more to encourage any readers of this to take stock and decide, where do you want to be a year from now. Think: physically, financially, mentally, career-wise, relationship-wise, lifestyle-wise. One of these is bound to resonate. One of these is not where you want it to be.

Take some time and decide: where do I want that aspect to be in a year. Make it SMART and then make yourself accountable to it. Don’t write it down to never revisit it. Come back, review, attack!

If it is scary, it’s meant to be. Nobody ever got better by staying in their comfort zone and remember, to coin a football analogy, but there is no greater feeling than when the ball hits the back of the net!


Read more…

Set your fitness goals

Getting fit shouldn’t start in the gym. The key is to work out your fitness goals and motivations which will help you to stick to their training programme. For goals to be effective, try aligning them to the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed). These apply to settings outside of fitness too, so they may already be familiar to you. Read more about setting up your fitness goals.

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