Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, get stronger, improve endurance… the list goes on. In order to be successful, you must have the right plan and mind set. A great tool to help with this is the S.M.A.R.T. approach. Let’s go through each letter.
Specific – The more specific your goal the easier it is to measure and track. For example, I want to lose weight vs I want to lose 10 lbs in 6 months. In a lot of cases giving yourself a more specific goal will make you more likely to follow through.
Questions that can help you choose specific goals:
- What am I looking to achieve?
- Are there conditions and limitations?
- Why do I want to reach this goal?
M-easurable – You need to be able to track and measure your goals in order to help keep your self accountable. Back to the weight loss example you can measure how much weight you are losing throughout designated checkpoints.
A-ttainable – Is your goal something that you can realistically do. This is huge as you don’t want to set yourself up for failure by picking a goal that is not attainable. You also want to investigate if the goal is truly acceptable for you by assessing the time, effort, cost and profits vs other obligations in your life.
There is nothing wrong with shooting for the stars but make sure you can follow through!
R-elevant – How relevant is your goal to you? This step will ensure that your goal actually matters to you. Some questions you may ask include:
- Is this worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
The big question is asking again why you want to achieve the goal.
T-ime Frame – Deadlines help to keep you accountable. Set deadlines or check points. Do your best to follow them or assess why you missed a deadline and what you can do to improve for your next checkpoint.
You have outlined your goals now it is time to implement. You can use periodization principles to cycle program intensities, volume and exercises over time.
A good plan covers short, middle and long-range goals which can be split into cycles.
- Short term micro cycles – Your daily and weekly variations in volume, intensity, and exercises.
This covers what your general day to day workload looks like.
- Middle term meso cycles – This includes your general objectives
Mesocycle the training phase in the annual cycle that has around 3-6 microcycles. Mesocycle is usually referred to the main training target for a particular period (i.e. strength, muscular endurance, etc.) that you are working to develop.
- Long term Macro cycles – This is the broad overview which can overlook the whole year and several meso cycles. In short, it’s your long-term plan.
Kafui Hotsonyame is a health coach, personal trainer and World Level Powerlifter. Kafui has competed for team Canada and broken the World Record Deadlift for the 83kg weight class.
Kafui came from an athletic background playing competitive soccer for 13 years before becoming a strength athlete.
Kafui loves to help other achieve their goals follow him through his website and social media.