Focus – the art of long term goal setting
*article first published on www.crossfitadelaide.com June 2015*
Focus (by helping others you might also end up helping yourself)
We are entering the 5th week of the EGSGTG Challenge (6th if you include the Food Diary week) and I’m starting to see an interesting phenomenon occurring where people’s initial laser like focus on improving themselves starts to wane just a little. Having a reasonable amount of experience helping people with goal setting in regards to health and fitness I’ve come to realise that this is about the limit of the modern attention span, not to say that it beyond the realms of possibility to achieve any goal that requires more than 6 weeks work, it just means we need to employ a couple of strategies to keep people on track and heading in the right direction. The EGSGTG Challenge was built with this inbuilt human trait of limited focus in mind and has a couple of things built in to it to help you out
Here’s my Pirates Guide to Keeping up with your goals (its the 3 R’s or RRR, pirate, rrrrrr, get it? no okay we’ll move on then…)
There is an inbuilt feedback / review loop built into this challenge – you have a partner who is looking over what you are doing each week as you should be doing for them, if you’re not critically and constructively reviewing your partner you’re not helping them.
Take the time to really look back over what you have been doing each week, are you getting slacker with your notes week to week? Is there more ambiguity about whether you did well enough with your training to justify full points or not? Is nearly 7 hrs getting ticked to 8 and is that Ipad getting used 5min before bed rather than an hour before bed?
When you look at your partner’s book this week, take a moment to ask questions and to challenge them about what they are doing – it will help push them to achieve more but it is also going to make you more aware of what you are doing yourself and you will find that you will hold yourself to a higher standard.
Remember this is not a difficult task – it’s a simple daily tracking system that doesn’t take long, if you can’t be bothered monitoring what you are doing – what chance do you have of making meaningful change? The review process creates more awareness of what you are doing, the more awareness you have the more likely you are to make good decisions
Take time to revisit the goals you’ve set and refocus on them, 4 weeks is not a long time so its more than likely that you haven’t 100% achieved all your goals (if you have – awesome job now its time time to push the boundaries and come up with some new goals). Look at the goals you set previously set, remember why you set them and come back at them with renewed energy. If you dont think you are making progress with them, speak to one of the trainers for guidance about what you can be doing to make sure you’re heading in the right direction – remember we are here to help! If you are stuck for goals and a path towards achieving them, a great place in terms of training goals to start is the movement of the month work, we just finished up a cycle on the muscle up, everyone could stand to be better at the movement, we gave you the tools to continue to practice and improve on it (the EMOM push-pull type work, the transition work) there is no reason you can’t continue on doing this work in your own time 2-3 times per week (muscle ups aren’t just for May). Your goals are achievable and isnt wasnt a bad idea to set them in the first place, remember why you set them in the first place (cos their awesome) and come back at them with renewed vigour
You’re making positive changes and busting your chops, you deserve a reward (seriously). Need motivation? Put a light at the end of the tunnel (a realistic light tho). Setting yourself a reward can be a tricky task – you need to make sure that you actually have to work for it and that the reward is worth it but you don’t want the reward to be the sole purpose that you’re doing something, ie Im eating 3 serves of vegetables a day so I can crush an entire mud cake on Saturday, remember there are some other benefits to eating vegetables too… Rewards can be small and regular (ie a small weekly “cheat meal” when looking at dietary goals) or they can be larger (ie if i do all my supplementary training and get my first muscle up Im going to Bermuda) both can be super effective if employed correctly. Remind yourself that you are doing something positive and you are working hard, that reward is going to add to the positive mindset that you are already in and keep things rolling in the right direction.
So to wrap it together for the mid way Challenge guide to sticking with your goals – take some time this week to Review what you are doing, by yourself and with your partner, remember why you set your goals in the first place and Refocus on attacking them with the same vigour you had in week 1 and set yourself a Reward for the awesome work you’re doing (you know you’re worth it!)