Do‘s and Don’ts of Goal Setting

Written by Arianna Hoffman

We all have goals that we want to accomplish both in and out of the gym. While it’s undoubtedly important to set goals for yourself, we want to also lay out a path of how to best achieve said goals.

Do write your goals down on paper. A study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University found that individuals who wrote down were more likely to achieve them. It’s not enough to simply imagine them our speak them aloud if you want to make your dreams a reality.

Do make your goals quantifiable. Writing down something to the effect of, “I want to do pull-ups,” isn’t specific. Instead, you can say, “I want to do 6 unbroken pull-ups.” Make your goals more tangible by explicitly stating what you want to do.

Do set a date by which to achieve your goal. If you don’t give yourself a deadline, you may become complacent in the process of working towards your dreams. It can be easy to coast along and think “it’ll happen eventually,” but you may find yourself stagnating that way. Instead, say, “I want to be able to do 6 unbroken pull-ups by February” so that you can hold yourself accountable for actualizing that goal.

Do make both short term and long term goals. Set small goals with the bigger picture in mind. Maybe the first goal is 6 unbroken pull-ups, but the ultimate goal is a muscle-up. Write both of these things down so that you know your end goal and know what the necessary steps are to get there.

Do work on your goals regularly. You’re not going to be able to do 6 pull-ups if you only work on them once per week. Practice doing pull-ups twice or three times a week before or after a class so that you become more comfortable hanging from the pull-up bar. Buy a pull-up bar for your doorway at home. Create a plan of action and be relentless.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve your goal right away. Sometimes, our goals take much longer to achieve than we initially imagined. To avoid this feeling, try to give yourself a realistic timeline rather than rushing excellence.

Don’t set too many goals at once. It’s necessary to be focused. If you write down a laundry list of 15 goals that you want to achieve in the next few months, you’re going to be overwhelmed and likely won’t cross off even half of your list. Keep the list succinct and pick the items that are of the highest priority to you at the moment.

Do advance and adapt your goals as you see fit. Once you’ve hit the 6 pull-up mark, your next goal might be to do weighted pull-ups! Constantly give yourself something new to work towards to keep yourself interested and on track to success.

Next time you set a goal for yourself, make sure that it is measurable and that you are held accountable for achieving it in some way. Utilizing these tools will make you more likely to flourish in the gym or in any other setting!

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