by Paul Dunn on
Tags: Personal Trainer
Categories: Industry Insight
How To Set Real Resolutions – Part 1 of 3
Welcome to 2018, a New Year and a sense of renewed motivation for many of us in all aspects of life. In part one of this three part series on “How To Set Real Resolutions” I will explore the principles of goal setting and provide an insight to the type of process and outcome goals you can discuss with your clients.
Research indicates that approximately 46% of New Years resolutions will be successful and considered to be newly adopted skills or behaviours. A quick search in Google provides an insight to new years resolution trends, currently the top 3 are:
- Stay fit & healthy
- Lose weight
- Enjoy life to the fullest
Seasonal goals come at a time of reflection, indulgence and invigoration of a new year ahead. Excitement can lead to failure when setting goals for the New Year. Without well-planned, supported, and achievable goals, failure is inevitable, with over 50% of people being unsuccessful in their new years resolutions by 6 months. This high level of failure is not down to a lack of desire, but a lack of skill and learned behaviours to achieve their goal.
Setting New Year resolutions often means the client will need to adopt a set of new behaviours to ensure the goal is achieved. To achieve behaviour change the client must believe they are able to do it! This is known as "Self efficacy" a reflection of the person’s confidence to exert control over their motivation, behaviour, and social environment (Bandurra, 1977). Prochaska & Diclemente (1983) developed a staged model of change known as the Transtheoretical Model, a widely used model of behaviour change in modern fitness and health programmes. It is important to be aware of the different stages and to develop strategies that help the client progress through each step. We will delve deeper into behaviour change and mindset in a later post. For the purpose of this post we are considering people who are "ready to change".
Purpose Of SMART Goals
Goal setting is a strategy to enhance motivation and commitment for those ready to take on measurable challenges. Specifically, it is important to set goals in the interest of:
Persistence; goals help clients continue with tasks and keep objectives in mind. Attention; goals help clients keep directed to the important aspects of their plan. Effort; goals help direct intensity of effort towards a specific outcome Strategies; help clients use process & outcome goals to achieve their desired goal.
Types Of Goal
Goal setting is valuable in all aspects of life, from; business, education, personal, financial, relationship, family, work, and health. The main categories for goals are:
Personal: relate to personal life, such as family, social commitments, relationships, sporting aims, health and fitness objectives and activities we enjoy.
Business, career, and economic; relate to career development, financial attainment, and business growth.
Self Improvement; refer to personal growth and development of yourself.
Outcome; relates directly to the end goal, or the outcome of achieving or doing something, such as squatting 100kg for 8 reps and 3 sets without forced reps.
Performance; focused directly on comparing personal performance, such as power lifters comparing their lifts or sprinters comparing their times.
Process; refers to the actions a client will perform to achieve their goal, such as, attending the gym three times a week, or being able to squat correctly and consistently before any weight increase above 30kg.
Setting SMART Goals
Goals need to be SMART, the smart method helps us set goals with clients. It is important that clients are involved in the goal setting process as they will need to believe they can achieve it, take ownership of it, and work on it when they are not with you.
The SMART acronym stands for: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.
An effective goal would take all the SMART criteria into account. For example, an outcome goal to reduce body fat by 3% in three months is specific to one aspect of fitness, measurable, time bound, and can be achieved if it is something the client wants – it is relevant to their needs.
Short, Medium, and Long Term Goals
Smart goals should be broken down into short, medium, and long term goals to make the achievement of the goal more manageable.
Short Term: Usually set from periods of one day to one month.
Medium Term Goals: Set between one month and to six months, one month and three month goals are the most common.
Long Term Goals: Range between six months to several years.
Example Long Term SMART Goal: To lose 5kg in body fat, achieving my ideal body weight of 59kg over 10 weeks by March 31st 2018.
Nutrition Specifically the client will prepare their own healthy lunches from a choice of 10 lunches they will learn over 12 weeks, keeping a log will help track progress and keep it realistic and achievable.
Exercise Specifically the client will be regularly taking part in 3 x 60 minute mixed resistance and cardio workouts each week, a workout log will be used to record the sessions and not the days for a realistic and flexible workout plan.
Example Medium Term Goal: To lose 2.5kg of body fat over 5 weeks by February 05th 2018
Nutrition Specifically the client will prepare 5 healthy homemade meals over 5 weeks. Learning one new recipe each week to ensure the client can effectively log and learn how to prepare efficiently.
Exercise Specifically the client will regularly take part in 3 x 45 minute mixed resistance and cardio workouts every week, a workout log will be used to record the sessions and not the days for a realistic and flexible workout plan that achievable and realistic.
Example Short Term Goal To lose 0.5kg in body fat over 7 days from January 01st to January 07th 2018
Nutrition Specifically the client will learn 1 new healthy home prepared lunch a week, with only one meal to learn each week it is realistic and achievable while recording on a food log.
Exercise Specifically the client will attend a personal workout consultation by January 02nd to set up a new flexible 3-day workout plan.
In part two of this post on setting real resolutions and smart goals, I will look at further principles of goal setting, additional strategies for managing goals, and reviewing goals for continued progress. Part three will provide a list of goals you can set with your clients that are not just fat loss goals that your clients can; work towards, and achieve.
Right now; there are clients wondering how to achieve the top 3 trends currently in Google as I mentioned earlier, hopefully this post has provided you some insight in how you can begin doing this. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and I look forward to writing parts two and three to support your own goals and studies. Please visit our website for more details about our flexible study options and our Personal Training Diploma.
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