Establishing Realistic Goals in Training
With Guest Blogger, Chris Schnare
We have all done it, sitting there scrolling through Facebook or Instagram unable to help but be impressed with the feats of strength, picture perfect physiques or the abilities and physical skills of certain individuals. Many people are simply gifted athletes, have years of consistent hard work under their belt, or have the guidance of high-level professionals to teach them and help keep them on track. It really can be awe-inspiring!
The unfortunate part about this, is that it creates a slew of information, images, posts, etc. that can make it very easy to feel insecure or question the path that you are currently on as you work towards your own personal goals, whatever they may be. We are taught from a young age to try not to compare ourselves to others, yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to trust and feel secure with our own personal levels of fitness.
One major piece of advice I can give, is to take the things you see and read online with a grain of salt and realize that many times you are seeing only the “highlight reel,” as opposed to the full story, the background, or the years of consistent, hard work leading up to that moment.
With that being said, there are also some really great things that come from people sharing their success and we can learn a lot from those that do succeed on any level.
Here are a few ideas to consider when you are trying to establish a clear plan and work towards goals you set out for yourself:
- Base your expectation for results on YOU, not the abilities or performances of others
Perhaps you want to jump as high as your favourite basketball player, or maybe you want to reach a body composition that looks attractive to you, or perhaps your goal is to gain 10 pounds of muscle or add 50 pounds to your squat. The goal really doesn’t matter, as long as it is realistic for you.
These are all normal feelings, goals and desires, yet the problems start to come into play when you set your expectations off of the current abilities of others as opposed to taking a realistic look at where you are now and then making a clear game plan that involves setting small, attainable steps to move you closer to your end goal. We, as humans, thrive on success and use it to push ourselves through difficult times. Without those small wins to reflect on, the challenge can feel insurmountable.
- “If you can measure it, you can monitor it”
Once you decide what you want to achieve, identify a few easy to monitor metrics that will allow you to see if your plan is working, or even better, give you clarity on what to adjust if you are not moving in the right direction.
For weight loss, this may be monthly weight check ins (if that is your thing), it may be tracking all of your sets and reps in the gym and ensuring you are following some steady progressive overload, or it may be tracking your ability to go for a 1 minute further on your run.
The goal doesn’t matter, but being able to monitor your successes will give you black and white real time feedback that you can use to adjust your plan.
- Trust your decisions and don’t sway from the plan.
If there is one variable that has led to more success for more people than any other, it would be, consistency. Once a plan is in place, realistic goals are defined, and an identifiable measure of success is laid out, the real success-determining factor will always be consistency.
This may be consistently preparing food even when you don’t want to on a Sunday, or it may be getting a workout in even when you are exhausted from your day. Either way, your ability to consistently show up and put in the work will ultimately make the difference between long term success or failure.
Trust what you are doing and let time and success measuring guide your results. Try your best to avoid letting the outside world affect your process.
Show up, put in your time, measure success, and trust your plan.
Hopefully these quick concepts resonate with you. Be true to your goals, set them high, but be realistic and accountable when you lay them out. Your long-term success will depend on it.
Keep things simple!