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Goal Setting for Success

   Think back to the first time you set your New Year’s Resolution. “I’m going to get in shape”,”I am going to quit (insert bad habit)” you said with all the determination of someone who is going to make this new year better than the last. First few weeks are going great but then- BAM- life happens. By February that motivation is long gone, and you have broken your resolution, busted out the cookie dough ice cream, and decided you will try again next year. But here is the thing with goal setting and resolutioning- It doesn’t need to be big,failure is a part of the process and, here is the most important part, you don’t need a new year or a Monday or anything else to get started.

Resolutions should be looked at as the tone for the year, like that year you decided to wear all black and be ‘mysterious’. By using it as the tone, it gives you a direction to go and sets you up to pick appropriate goals. Using this method also helps avoid the pitfall of bailing on your resolution the first time you hit a snag. Pick the big thing that you can work toward: getting better sleep, losing weight, minimizing distractions; and put that at the top of your list. This will be your base that you build off of for the year. Your resolution is what you will chip at all year to get more consistent and eventually make a habit, so worry about a goal at the end. Resolutions are meant to make you better overall, sometimes that’s not quantifiable, and that’s OK, it’s for YOU! Have your big resolution? Great, now lets start setting some goals

Now we will break up the entire year and set goals appropriately so that you can reach your big goals. The way we do this from setting your three different types of goals: big goals (Macro goals), intermediate goals (Mezzo goals), and short term goals (Micro goals). The smaller goals will feed into your overall goal and make the act of getting to the big goal more digestible and less like a looming monster that you can’t tackle. For every Macro goal you have, you will have 2-3 mezzo goals, and for every mezzo goal you will have 2-3 micro goals. We recommend setting a Macro goal for your profession, for your home, and for your personal life. This may sound like a lot, but once you map out what you need to do to achieve each goal, it will see a lot less scary. When setting goals make sure you follow the S.M.A.R.T method. Make sure each goal is:

Make sure all of your goals are SMART

Specific- Who, What, When, Where, Why?

Measurable- How do you measure your progress?

Attainable- How much effort is required? Is it realistic?

Relevant- Are you willing and able to accomplish this with work?

Time Bound- Do you have the time available to achieve it?

When making goals, it is wildly important to make sure each goal fits S.M.A.R.T parameters. A badly made goal can be a death sentence to your motivation and self-esteem. If your goal doesn’t fit, rework the goal until it hits all 5 points. Now that we know the different types of goals and what a good goal looks like, lets move on to how to make each goal type.


First you need to set your big year goal- your Macro goal. This goal is meant to take the year to build up to and can be anything that will require your to work at to achieve.  Pick a goal big enough that it makes you have change as a person to be able to achieve it. This is a goal worthy of setting. Hike the Appalachian trail, learn a new language, get that shredded body, just pick something BIG for you. Pick something that you planned on letting sit on your bucket list until you can’t do it anymore- this is your year. Now make sure it fits our S.M.A.R.T format. If you are a couch potato that wants to scale Mt Everest, maybe try Mt Washington first. Got a good one? OK, now we start working on the path to get there.

Now that we have your Macro goal set it’s time for the mezzo goals. These goals don’t take the whole year to accomplish, but will set you up to have your best shot at achieving your Macro goal. These goals can be things like race dates, skill acquisition, and smaller personal records. If your macro goal, for example, is to run the Boston Marathon next year, mezzo goals could be doing finding or decreasing your run time by 10 seconds and running a qualifier for the marathon. These two are bigger goals that will not be able to be accomplished within a month. But with work and consistency, you can achieve both goals and set yourself up for the ultimate goal of crossing the finish line in front of the Boston Public Library. Go you! Now lets start setting the path to get there.

Micro goals can be achieved in 1-3 months. These goals will feed into your Mezzo goal and are the building blocks to get you to the end. These are things that will require a little effort to get to, but not so hard that it is defeating. Setting a goal such as achieving an extra 1-2 pull ups when you already have a pull up is a good example of a Micro goal. As you can see, Micro goals are also not so easy that you can achieve them in a week; the need to change and work must still be there. These goals must also be measurable, otherwise there is no easy way to tell if you have accomplished your goal. If you set a goal of having faster elbows in the clean, how fast must they be to achieve the goal? However, if you say that you want to get your elbows at 90 degrees by the time you receive the bar in the front rack position at 110 pounds- now we have a clear and concise goal to work toward.

If you would like to hear our podcast about goal setting you can find it here!

Now that you have mapped out your resolution and your three levels of goals, it’s time to get to work. See you in the gym!

-Elise Ferreira

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