Are all goals created alike? Setting goals effectively can help you to reach your destination and develop a sense of competence, where setting them ineffectively can set you up to feel overwhelmed.
Part of my work as a specialised exercise trainer requires me to help people to identify their values and define, refine and specify their goals. Here are some basic tips that I often use in this process.
It’s already half way through January, but it’s not too late for a quick recap of 2014.
In 2014, I:
– won gold in 66kg weight class at White Belt, no-gi, at Grappling Tournaments Australia. I also competed in the open weight division, which had 17 women in it – the biggest division I’d competed in – and got to the semi-finals, losing the semi-final match by one advantage.
– started studying an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine.
I was recently prompted to “write the post that was on my mind when I decided to start this blog.”
I went back over my archives and read my first post. It was February 2012. I was enjoying my first year of good health after chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Where I’d rather be now is reaching more people through my personal training business, competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, fighting in Muay Thai again both here and in Thailand, and making my debut in Mixed Martial Arts. These are the things that have formed the basis of 2012′s Resolutions, which in turn determine the actions I take each day to make these a reality.”
Since then, I moved some goal-posts. Transitioning from Muay Thai to MMA was more difficult than imagined, so my goals to have more Muay Thai fights and to go to Thailand have been superseded by my focus on grappling.
I have seen how competitive the personal training industry has become, and how much more clients need than basic exercise programs. I continue to work with fitness clients, while making myself a better exercise specialist and, eventually, a holistic nutritionist through formal study.
One area of my life has gone according to plan, and that’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Losing via ground-and-pound stoppage in an MMA fight against Arlene Blencowe last year turned out to be a blessing. It has driven me to develop my grappling skills.
Last weekend I competed in the South Australian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu State Championships – my first competition as a blue belt.
I’m not going to wax existential, but I’ve been prompted to think about why I’m here and what I hope to accomplish in the blogsphere.
It’s a timely question, given that it’s been some time since I established this blog, and that a few things have changed since then.
I originally started blogging as a way to create more awareness of the work that I do as a personal trainer. In the few years that I’ve been blogging, however, things have evolved. I’ve been exposed to the work of many other bloggers, and the combination of my time working with fitness clients, the study that I’ve done, and the experiences that I’ve had as an athlete and as a woman have clarified my ideas and inspired me to expand my blog-gy mission.
For instance, I’ve become aware of what a huge issue Body Image is, not only for individuals but for society at large. As a personal trainer I simply cannot choose to believe that I exist in a vacuum. Although I consciously perpetuate no particular body image, I am a sort of intermediary – people, particularly women, seek me out as part of their quest to create a certain physique, and I cannot help but notice when the concept of self-worth or beauty upon which their goals are based is hurting them.
Let’s face it, in our quest for good health, functional fitness and an inclusive environment, society and even the fitness industry have given a bit of a bad name to good looks. We all secretly laugh at the big guy doing bicep curls or the fitness-model look-alike in the crop top and hot pants squatting in front of the mirror.
While there are definitely more important and rewarding reasons for exercising and eating well – reasons like increasing your lifespan, improving your quality of life, reducing your risk of diseases like osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes – it certainly doesn’t hurt to throw some vanity into the mix.
A big part of my job as a personal trainer involves getting people to be clear about their goals, then keeping them focussed on these goals as I take them through the actions they need to perform in order to achieve them. There are a few simple guidelines I use in helping people to clarify their goals and make them effective tools for motivation later on, summed up in the abbreviation “SMART”.