The Importance Setting Motivation Driving Goals

Posted: 10 April 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So I’m sitting here on a Thursday evening, watching football whilst indulging in my post-workout meal after a killer shoulder, chest and bicep session; and I can’t help but assess the progress and failures over the past couple of weeks

I can honestly say that once I get inside the gym my focus has been spot on and I’ve been progressing nicely and getting some new personal bests.

However it is what I am doing outside the gym that concerns me most, especially in the two main areas I wanted to focus on: diet and mobility work.

Over these last two weeks I’ve had a couple of days where my diet has not gone according to plan, that’s not to say that it has been absolutely appalling but it has for sure impacted my progress towards my goal. Also another personal goal of mine is to work on my mobility and flexibility which, just like my diet, I have my good and bad days.

In my mind I can’t help but find excuses for these deviations i.e. I’m feeling slightly tired or ill so I’ll have extra calories, I need to rest instead of stretch so I won’t bother, I will have a heavy gym session tomorrow so those extra calories can be put to good use then… and all other sorts of excuses. But as I dive deeper into my thoughts I find that this lack of composure has a great deal to do with my motivation levels.

If you have followed my journey thus far you will be aware that I am currently on a cutting/shredding phase in an attempt strip layers of fat with as much limited impact as possible in relation to muscle loss.

So in a very simple tagline my goal is: lose body fat in a slow and steady process.

Now it seems I have got a conceivable goal to work towards and I know how I will get there (in my instance through the training and diet)- so I have a direction to follow and I know where I want to get to. Till here it’s all very well and dandy and my motivation should be there as I work towards achieving something. So this is where I have found myself asking why am I slacking on some aspects of my journey?

Well in this post I want to share with you my view into goal setting and its effect on motivation. There is a lot of literature out there which underlines the pure fact that motivation is key to achieving goals. While this may stand true there’s also a reverse relationship which many times may be overlooked. What I mean by this reverse relationship is the mere fact that the goals you set yourself should in fact also support your motivation levels.

I strongly believe that when setting any goals in life (not just fitness!); they should drive a hunger within therefore creating an elevated level of motivation whilst you are on your journey.

Through my experience I have found that the presence of three elements are fundamental when ensuring that the goal setting is of a motivation driving effect, these being:

  1. Achievable – A goal should be ambitious yet attainable as well as traceable. This way you should be able to track your journey along the way and you know that you will be able to measure the achievement at the end
  2. Adaptable – Many times there are factors in life that you will not be able to control therefore ensuring that goals are adaptable will be important as it will allow you to adapt your goals to your life priorities
  3. Have a target dates – Some people work well under pressure, others prefer the freedom of a non-pressured environment; setting target dates doesn’t mean that they have to be target dates for you to reach those goals but they can be of a goal reassessment nature in which you look back at your journey thus far and re-assess changes that may be needed to continue on the right path – unless these are dates that you really have to deliver something i.e. stepping on stage to compete, delivering a work project

In this instance I’d like to recall on my current fitness goal and its effect on my motivation. As I have mentioned I’ve had two weeks where at times my motivation has not been all that great which has impacted my work outside the gym.

Assessing my fitness goal across the three elements mentioned above I’d say that my goal is both achievable and adaptable, however the pure fact that I have set no target dates I have seen my journey impacted. Let’s take a look at the diet factor as this has a direct impact in my goal. With no target date in the back of my mind I know that I have no pressure of achieving it so, whilst during the day and in the gym I am highly motivated as my mind if highly occupied with the thoughts of achieving that goal, the true challenge comes when I am more passive and just sat around watching TV or reading – reason being that my mind will start gathering thoughts around the fact that I have no target dates therefore no pressure and it will start formulating all sorts of excuses to binge eat i.e. next day I will make use of the extra calories in the gym, I am feeling slightly under the weather so extra calories will help…and many others (repeating myself here).

With this specific case it so happens that the element missing is the target dates however the same would stand true if the goal was missing one of the other elements whilst still meeting the other two, so for the goal set to be of a motivation driving nature I believe it needs to tick 3/3 elements mentioned above. So my current goal obviously is lacking in one substance and I will therefore be re-assessing my goal this weekend which I will post on my weekly update.

I hope this makes sense to you and you will find it useful. If you have experienced similar or completely different cases and would like to share please do get in touch. Again this is my personal take on it and it’s purely based on my own views.


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