by Erik Castiglione
In last week’s article, we talked about setting SMART goals and exercising (ha!) some control over your fitness journey. While this may seem straightforward for some people, others don’t know how or where to start. What should my goal be? How do I know what’s possible for me to achieve? To answer these questions, I’m asking all of you to take a moment for self-reflection. Ask yourselves, “why am I here?”
No, seriously. Why are you a member of CrossFit Relentless? Try to be more specific than “I want to get in shape.” With so many kinds of gyms and workout programs out there, why choose CrossFit? What brought you here in the first place? What are you hoping to achiever? If you can remember your initial reason for joining, or that the very least, the reason you come back day in and day out, you’ll have a starting point for setting a goal.
Maybe your goals are performance related. If you care about your lifting numbers and benchmark times, then it should be very easy for you to set a SMART goal. Simply pick a lift or benchmark, look at your current performance, and set the bar a little higher. If you want to set a long-term goal, set the bar a lot higher, with some milestones along the way. For example, if you want to squat 300 lbs, but your squat is currently 200 lbs, you could set milestones for 225, 250, and 275 lbs on the way to 300.
Maybe you’re here because you want to look good naked. Go ahead and laugh, but this is a completely valid and very widespread (if unacknowledged) motive. I won’t get into the psychology or morality of this, I’m just going to accept the fact that aesthetic goals are powerful motivators, and you should too. If it happens to be one of yours, then own it and set a goal related to it. There is no judgement here. Maybe you want to lose inches off your waist. Maybe you want to achieve a certain level of leanness, measured through bodyfat percentage. Maybe you want to build a bigger butt or legs. As long as the goal is yours, it is valid, and the opinions of others are irrelevant.
Your motivation is yours, and yours alone. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you own it. Be honest with yourselves and figure out what it is that drives you to not only complete a particularly difficult WOD, but to come back for more the next day. As a result, you’ll have a better understanding of yourself, and you’ll better be able to set achievable goals. Repeating this process periodically will keep you motivated long term. Now go ahead and ask yourself, what’s your why?