Subtitles and Transcript
In last week’s video we emphasized the importance of setting fitness goals to stay motivated. In today’s video we will learn how we should set our fitness goals to optimize our chances of success.
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Visit any gym and you will see a lot of folks randomly doing exercises based on their mood or equipment availability. A workout done without any goal in mind is useless and leads us nowhere. A journey is only meaningful if we have a goal in mind and to ensure success the goal must have certain characteristics. Consider the case of Alan and Dave who have their wedding coming up in 6 months. They both want to get in shape for their wedding.
Technically speaking, both of them have a goal “To get in shape”, however lets see how the difference in framing it, makes a big difference in terms of attaining it. Alan defines his goal as “I will give my best effort to get in shape” while Dave starts out by defining his goal as “I will become lean and strong”. Who would you think has a better chance of succeeding? The fact that Dave has narrowed his goal down to “becoming lean and strong”, gives him a huge edge over Alan, whose goal has vague undefined terms
such as “give my best effort” and “get in shape”. So the first characteristic of a good goal is that it should be specific, wherein it mentions exactly what we want to attain. Dave did not just stop there though, he made his goal measurable by saying “I will become lean and strong, so that I can do 10 pull-ups non-stop”. By making his goal measurable, Dave can now see how much progress he is making towards his goal. The closer he gets to his goal, the more motivated he becomes, therefore increasing his chances of attaining his goal.
For Alan, since his goal is vague, nothing of this sort happens. So the second characteristic of a good goal is that it is measurable such that all the small progresses you make towards it motivates you further. This is the same phenomenon of the cue, action and reward loop we discussed in last week’s video. Important thing to note in Dave’s goal is, how reasonable it is. Being a beginner, it will be challenging for him to be able to do 10 pull ups non-stop in 6 months, but not something that he cannot attain.
If Dave would have set his goal to be able to do 100-pull ups non-stop, then he would have soon realized that it is almost impossible to attain and would have given up. So the third characteristic of a good goal is that it should be challenging but attainable. Such a goal will stretch us beyond our comfort zone but is not impossible to attain. The fact that Dave is going through all the pains of defining his goal, suggests that he is obsessed by his goal and really wants to attain it.
He goes to the extent of saying that he will buy gym membership and commit to spending an hour there three times a week. This clearly shows that Dave’s goal is relevant for him. So the fourth characteristic of a good goal is that it should be relevant to us, wherein we have a strong urge to achieve it. The fifth and the last characteristic of a good goal is that it should be time-bound, wherein we commit on a time by when we will achieve our goal. In both Alan and Dave’s situation, their goal is time bound by their wedding date.
So to summarize, if we are serious about attaining any goal in our life, we must make sure that the goal is
• And Time bound
Such a goal is called a smart goal and research has shown that chances of success increase dramatically if one sets such a goal. Dave finally framed his smart goal as follows
“I will regularly go the gym three times a week, so that in 6 months I will attain a fitness level where I can do 10 pull ups non-stop”. Indeed he was in great shape during his wedding.
Indeed he was in great shape during his wedding. This concludes our video on setting fitness goals. From next week onwards, we will start getting into the basics of designing workout programs. In next week’s video, we will go over the most important attribute that a workout should have. Unfortunately, most often it gets ignored leading to suboptimal results. We will go over the case of Tim, and see how his workout actually ended up negatively affecting his health.
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