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How to Set SMART Goals for 2022 (and Actually Achieve Them)

Learn how to define and achieve your true goals.

This guide will help show you how to set SMART goals in 2022 and actually achieve them.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

What are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals are a technique for helping to define, describe and measure the conception, process and success of setting and achieving goals.

pistol WODs with Mat Fraser smart goalsSource: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Where do SMART Goals Come From?

SMART Goals are attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept.

The term was first stated in the 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.

How Will SMART Goals Help Me?

The system will give you a framework to help you do what you intend to do.

They will help you to make your plans specific and clear, then provide you will the right methods to achieve those goals.

“Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.” Bruce Lee

What does SMART Stand For?

SMART is an acronym that stands for the following:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time Based

The concept has been partially expanded to SMARTER, in order to include Evaluated and Reviewed.

For this article we will concentrate primarily on the original SMART plan.

Let’s break the acronym down.

Specific

Each goal that you set must be specific.

The process of defining a specific goal is a great micro exercise to help you focus on exactly what you want to achieve and why.

For example, the goals of “getting fitter” or “losing weight” are not specific goals. They are vague.

They would need to be defined more deeply in order to become specific.

which athletes are going to the 2021 crossfit gamesSource: CrossFit Inc.

Let’s take a closer look.

  • “I want to get fitter next year” becomes “I want to run three times every week and complete a half marathon in 2022”
  • “I want to lose weight next year” becomes “I want to lose 5kg in 2022”

When you are thinking about your goal, ask yourself the following five questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • Which resources or limits are involved?

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” Carl Jung

Measurable

Each goal must be measurable.

This means that the goal is defined in a way where the progress can be tracked and the completion of the goal can be objectively marked as complete.

For example, “I want to save 500 EUR every month in 2022” or “I want to add 10KG to my Squat 1 rep max in 2022”.

With both of these it is pretty easy to sit down at the end of the year and see if they have been completed or not.

Ask yourself the following questions when you are making your goals:

  • How much?
  • How will I know when the goal is accomplished?
  • How many?

Achievable

The goal needs to be achievable and realistic.

It should make you push beyond your limitations, but it must also be something that is within the realms of possibility.

Be honest about current fitness levels, training opportunities, facilities, resources etc.

If you are completely new to CrossFit and want to start in 2022, it wouldn’t be realistic to say that you want to make it to the CrossFit Games in 2022.

However, if you love to compete, an achievable goal might be to compete in at least one local CrossFit competition before the end of 2022.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I accomplish this goal?
  • How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
  • Am I motivated for this goal?
Great Moments from the 2021 CrossFit Games smart goalsSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Relevant

It sounds obvious and slightly odd, but you must make sure that each goal is relevant to your life, ambitions and conditions.

For example, let’s say an individual wanted to start open water swimming and complete a 5km sea swim in 2022.

This goal is specific, measurable, achievable and relevant…for some.

For example, to a keen swimmer that lives in Brighton in England (next to the sea) or a Slovenian athlete that lives near Lake Bled, the necessary training would be easy to do and the goal would be relevant to their conditions.

On the other hand, this same goal, to an athlete of similar physical capabilities, might not be as relevant if they lived in a land locked and arid state in the USA and lacked any way or resources to get to the sea or lakes to train and complete the goal.

Relevance is not a deal breaker, but it does play a big role in goal setting and should be thought about.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this the right time for this particular goal?
  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Does this match my other efforts/needs?
  • Am I the right person to reach this goal?
  • Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?

Time-Based

Every goal needs a deadline.

This will help to motivate you and give you a sense of urgency.

It also assists, psychologically, to force you to ascribe energy to the tasks that will actually help you achieve the goal itself, not just mundane and irrelevant other tasks that are not actually important in the long run.

For example, “I want to lose 5kg by the end of 2022”

Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • When?
  • What can I do today to get me closer to my goal?
  • What can I do six weeks from now?
  • What can I do six months from now?

Having Control over the Goal

This is another very important point.

You need to make sure that you set goals that you have control over.

For example, “winning one CrossFit competition” also depends on the other athletes that compete. You could improve 100x, become a phenomenal athlete and then a pro athlete shows up unannounced on the day and obviously takes the win.

In that case you shouldn’t be any less proud of the progress you made, however you would not have completed the goal.

You could realign the goal in order to maximise the control you have over it. For example, “My goal is to train 5 times a week, cut out sugar and take part in one CrossFit competition in 2022”.

Then whether you win or lose, you have still completed the goal and improved your ability, health and expanded your horizons as an athlete and human.

Trust in the Process

Maya Angelou said that “all great achievements require time”.

This is especially for goals.

When you design your goals they should scare you slightly, that is a good indication that they are worth working for.

Set you process up then trust in the process. Think about what you can do each day, week, month and year in order to achieve them.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

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