Goal Setting

It is a well-known fact that January/February is the busiest time in gyms across the world with athletes returning to the daily grind after over indulging during the festive period, as well as those with a new year’s resolution to change their bad habits into eating clean and improving their fitness. This is always a challenging but exciting time for any gym, coach or personal trainer, as we know motivation is very high at the beginning, but can start to slowly descend if the correct steps are not followed.

Goal setting is something that is talked about in many different fields, but I believe its relevance in the fitness industry is high. It always sounds a bit cheesy when you think about discussing your goals and writing up a plan, but as Greg Everett said in a recent article I read, ‘’If you have no plan with regard to your training, you’re an idiot’’. It may seem a bit harsh, but as I look back over the years of being involved in sport and working as a personal trainer, I can think of hundreds of people who didn’t have a plan or a specific goal in regards to their training who either end up stopping because they see minimal results for what they are looking for, or just because they get bored, unmotivated and have no direction with their training. 

For me the greatest thing about CrossFit in regards to a strength and conditioning program is the variety in exercises and skill involved. There is always something that you need to improve on even when you are an elite CrossFit athlete, which keeps the motivation and willingness to succeed high. For example, you may be very good at the gymnastics movements, push ups, pull ups and L-sits, but have you managed to learn the techniques to squat snatch your body weight or complete 100 unbroken double unders. I understand that many people goals may be more related to vanity, such as building muscle or reducing body fat, but I firmly believe if you concentrate on getting fitter and learning new skills combined with a balanced and healthy lifestyle (nutrition, sleep) these goals can also be achieved. 

I’m sure many of you have heard of it before, but the SMART approach to setting a goal is a simple and great way of building a plan. This is something that I do myself a lot in not just fitness but also in life. A SMART goal should be:

Specific– What is it that you want to achieve?

Measurable– How will you track your progress and know that you have achieved it?

Attainable– Is it something that you have control over?

Realistic– Is it applicable to the situation you are in your life right now?

Time bound– When do you want to achieve this? Choose a deadline and set your appropriate short term goals off this.

The best way to ensure progress towards some particular goal is by setting short and medium term goals keep you motivated, and give you some direction. Below is an example of when I set a long term goal back when I first moved to Dubai, and the short and medium term goals to achieve it. 

I had only been In Dubai a couple of weeks and someone had mentioned to me about the Dubai Fitness Competition, which was something which excited me. I was already in fairly good shape, but knew I needed to get much fitter to stand a chance of competing. I was working in another gym at the time and we had a weekly meeting where we were asked to write down our goals and how we would go about achieving them (think it was supposed to be work related but ah well). I had 8 months to achieve mine and this is how I laid it out. 

It looks like this:


  • – Qualify
  • –  Lift Heavy ass Weights
  • – Improve endurance
  • – Train like a beast 
  • – Sleep lots
  • – Clean up diet 
  • – Squat/ Press/ Deadlift
  • – Rowing/ Running/ Cycling/ Skipping at least once a day 
  • – Train like a beast, every session
  • – Organise work schedule better
  • – Cook for myself

It doesn’t seem like a huge deal for me now, but I know when I set out that goal, it felt like a very long way to go.

No matter how big or small your goal is, write it down, and the steps that will get you there and work towards them every day. Please speak with myself or any of the coaches for more information on goal setting. We could even help you write the steps towards your goals and monitor your progression. 

Coach Joff


Greg Everett