It feels crazy to say it, but 2017 is basically over. Cue panic. Ok, I’m joking I promise, but in all seriousness I can’t believe how this year has flown by. It’s been a busy one that’s for sure, and while there have been some struggles it’s been pretty great overall. From finally feeling far more in control of my anxiety to taking the leap for a complete career change, it’s been a real year of progress. To be honest, when I sit back and reflect on the year I’m pretty proud of myself. But I’m not one to sit back and relax as I’m sure you all know by now. Nope, my attentions are now firmly set on making 2018 even better and even more positive.
Of course, as New Year’s Eve draws in on us, we all start thinking about those resolutions. Those changes we are going to make. New year new me is the mantra. I touched on it briefly last year, but I don’t really believe resolutions are very helpful. They’re often broad, overly-ambitious and tend to set us up for failure rather than success. So this year I’m setting myself some new short and medium term goals instead, and I encourage you to do the same.
So, how do we make sure our goals are more than resolutions then? Well, we make them SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed. If you stick to the acronym while setting your goals for 2018 they become so much easier to stick to and really help you set up an action plan for success. Let’s look at these in more detail before setting those 2018 goals…
Ok, it seems obvious, but short, medium and long term goals need to be specific. Personally, I find the best way to make goals specific is to really dig down into the details of the overall longterm ambition. For example, ‘get fit’ is super-generalised and being fit means different things to different people. So to make it specific I think about what being fit looks like to me. To me, it’s bikini athletes. I’m therefore making my goal specific by saying I want to be a bikini athlete and compete in 2018.
The trouble with resolutions is that they often don’t have easy ways of measuring success, and that’s pretty demotivating. Motivation is key for success so make sure you have measurable mini-achievements along the way to achieving your overall 2018 goals. One of my goals this year is to get stronger and I’m going to measure that with personal bests. I want to finally hit that 100kg deadlift!
There is no point in setting a goal that you know you can’t achieve. How demoralising is that? It’s great to be ambitious but be kind to yourself by setting yourself up for success. This is where you really have to evaluate the time and effort you are prepared and able to put in to reaching your goals. This year I want to post to my blog at least twice a week and upload a Youtube video once a week. This is an ambitious goal for me, but I’ve already taken steps to make it achievable by making a content schedule and allocating blocks of time in my diary that are purely for content creation. I keep saying it, but take those steps to set yourself up for success. You’ll be much happier for it!
This is where the big picture comes in: are your goals relevant to you, your plans, your ambitions? The year ending is the perfect time to reflect on what you really want out of life and set goals to suit that. I really want to compete and get stronger. My strength goals of lifting personal bests are therefore relevant to my overall get stronger goal, and my diet and gym goals are all integral to my big competing goal. All my mini-goals support my long-term goals and that keeps me super motivated.
Finally, give yourself a time frame to achieve your goals. My short term goals are all on a week-by-week basis while my longer ones have dates in mind to reach them. This helps me stay focused and get my hustle on. We all need deadlines really, and at least you’re setting them for yourself! Don’t turn it into a stress-inducing race against time though, keep the timeline realistic and flexible (hey, life happens) and you’ll find that motivation stays high.
My 2018 Goals
So there you have it, how to set SMART goals for 2018 rather than resolutions. Without further ado, here are a few of my goals for 2018…
- The big goal: Compete in a bikini fitness competition in July/August 2018 (see how I put a deadline in there eh?)
- Strength goals: Hit a 100kg deadlift PB, 80kg squat PB, 50kg bench press PB and 30kg overhead press PB in 6 months time
- Weekly goal 1: Go to the gym four times a week
- Weekly goal 2: Do one hour of cardio a week (either one LISS session or three HIIT sessions)
- Mini-Cut goal: Lose 2kg in 6 weeks by tracking calories daily and sticking to macros
- Blogging goal: Write two blog posts a week and create one Youtube video a week
Now that you’re armed with the wonder that is SMART goals, please do let me know what you hope to achieve in 2018! I hope it is the most wonderful year for all of you.