Thursday, January 7, 2016

Planning Pt. II: Goal Setting

 Happy New Year fitness friends!!

I am excited to announce that Patrick and I have finally finished moving into our new apartment, and are settling in nicely. I have started the year off with many major changes, so resolutions don't really seem to have a place at the moment. However, I do have big plans for 2016.

Yesterday, we were able to sit down and create a map of how we'd like this year to look in terms of fitness feats. I have mentioned before our plans to take the OCR world by storm this year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the acronym, OCR = Obstacle Course Race. Patrick has competed in several, and I am looking forward to adding some finisher medals of my own to the collection. Additionally, I would like to make some major strides in my yoga practice this year.I have decided to start from square one, and re-learn the basics. Yoga 101 is in session in this household, and I plan to work my way up to intermediate status by the end of the year... In fact, while writing down our goals yesterday, Patrick noticed I wrote, "Intermediate Yogi Status" as my long-term (one year) goal, and asked, "Um... what is that?" I responded, "I don't know exactly, but I figure when I'm there I'll have a better idea." So that's that.

Displaying IMG_0631.JPG
Displaying IMG_0631.JPG
Displaying IMG_0631.JPG
We decided to organize our goals into three increments: short-term, mid-term, and long-term. We defined those as one month, six months, and one year, respectively. We decided when each amount of time is up, we will take on the task of setting a new goal for the same amount of time. For example, in one month I will evaluate whether I accomplished my short-term goal, and set a new one for one month from then.

As we decided what we wanted to work toward, we considered many factors. Should each goal be aligned with the others? Should we have multiple goals at each juncture? Should we have the same goals as each other? Ultimately, we went with what we each felt was realistic for ourselves, and with goals we truly felt would be worth the work. Here is our goal planning chart:

When setting goals, I think the most important factor is making them realistic and reachable. Patrick and I spent a considerable amount of time debating, and evaluating whether we would be able to reach the goals we most wanted to include. Patrick has dropped about 20 lbs in the past five months, the majority of which was lost in the past month and a half. He figures if he's able to maintain the same workout regimen and diet, he will have no problem hitting the mark. My short-term (one month) goal is to handstand, unsupported for a full five seconds. In the middle of making our goal chart, I had to stop and do some handstands in order to get a baseline. I had Patrick time my handstand beginning when I appeared stable and stopping at the first sign of a wobble. My best attempt was only steady for about 2 seconds (which felt more like 10). I can, however, hold myself up for a substantially longer period with some assistance from a partner or the wall. Therefore, I thought 5 seconds would be enough of a challenge without being unrealistic. 

The second most important factor in goal setting (again, in my opinion), is reevaluation of the goal. Hence, the one month increment of the short-term goal. If for example, Patrick is unable to lose 10 pounds by February 6th, he will have the opportunity to adjust his mid-term goal to something more within reach. For both the short-term and mid-term goals we wrote the goals as bullet points, and left room to add in the coming months. I plan to keep setting small accomplish-able goals each month related to inversions, as this is something I feel will be helpful in achieving my mid-term and long-term goals. Little-by-little I will gain arm and core strength which will be useful in OCRs and my yoga practice. 

You may also notice, for his mid-term goal P included his plans to maintain a weight of 200 lbs. It is my suspicion that this will be much more difficult than it sounds regardless of the successful completion of his first short-term goal, because it necessitates him putting a halt to his weight loss, while continuing healthy eating, paleo-style, and working out at the same or higher intensity as he is currently. He will also continue to gain muscle mass, which weighs more than fat, so things may even out nicely. BUT the more muscle mass, the more rapidly the body burns calories, (aka he is going to be hungry). It will be a good test of whether he can avoid the quick and easy fixes for this... something I know I struggle with. I am always hungry... Not an exaggeration.

Okay so you caught me, I made a "New Year's Resolution" and called it a, "goal." Really, it's nothing new. It is nice that it coincides with the beginning of the year, new beginnings can be symbolic and motivational and aint nothin' wrong with that, but goals are intended to be updated, renewed and revisited. I make them all year long, and I think you should too.

Chime in! What are your goals for 2016?


  1. My goals for this year are to get down to 195. Complete the Uwharrie Trail 20 miler, ATT Marathin, NorthFace Endurance 50k, ride for my team at NC State, do a few sprint tri's, and hopefully I can get another half iron distance race in but maybe not. All this is leading me into a full Ironman next year. I usually eat a lot of meat and fats in the winter to bulk up. The reason being is because I like to get my body used to working out while I am heavy, that way when I go to a leaner diet in the sprint and drop weight my body becomes more efficient and has to work less. This allows me to be faster at a lower heart rate. I might check to see what races are around Chi-town so I can come check y'all out!

    1. Holy goals!! Maybe P's goal should be, "Train like my brother when I grow up." We definitely plan to come your way for an OCR this year... I think we have few options. I have been asking Patrick to see which of the ones we're considering would work for you to at least come meet up if not do the race with us!

    2. I will do the race with you guys! You just need to give me fair warning to plan because I also have conferences that I will be traveling around for school. Keep me posted!