Wednesday, 24 November 2010

SMART Goals (part 4)


The third type of member on our course was the person who wanted to gain strength. Now most fitness professionals love these members, they often identify with them and want to jump straight on the bench press or smith machine and pump some iron. However to monitor progress and maintain motivation, it’s still important to set SMART goals.

Here’s what the workshop came up with for SMART Strength goals:

• It’s now 31 March and I can bench press 3x10 sets of ### kg and squat 3x10 sets of ### kg
• My biceps / thighs measure ### cm by April
• I’m stronger, so I am able to make more tackles and shake off more tacklers when playing rugby in February
• I am competing in Mr/Mrs Universe next summer
• I can hit the golf/tennis ball further/harder at the start of next season

As before, please do not take these goal examples and assign them to your members. All members’ goals should be personal to them; they are much more likely to take responsibility for, and ultimately achieve their own goals.

Please feel free to add your own (or a member’s) SMART Goal for ‘STRENGTH’ in the comments below.

Friday, 12 November 2010

SMART Goals (part 3)


Often the hardest kind of member to set goals with is one who doesn’t want or need to lose weight, but joins the gym to keep fit. The good news is that these members usually have good motivation already, but it’s still important to help them set some SMART goals to keep motivation levels up in times of trouble.

The key factor here to find out what the member means by keeping fit. Sometimes this will come back to the classic ‘lose weight’ type goals. Alternatively, a future event will help to focus on what they mean by keeping fit, or visualising or explaining how they will feel by ‘keeping fit’.

Repeating the exercise in part 1 with another workshop group, we redefined ‘keep fit’ with the following goals. Again, not all are truly SMART, but they are improvements on “I just want to keep fit”:

• I will complete my charity 10km run in April in under 45 minutes
• It’s the end of March and I can swim 15 lengths of the pool non-stop
• I’ve been skiing for a week in January and am not completely knackered at the end of each day
• I can play a full game of 5-a-side without needing a sub break by March
• I’ve completed the London to Brighton bike ride (June)

As before, these examples are to help instructors with getting members to set their own SMART goals. All members’ goals are personal to them; their own goals will be much more Attainable and Relevant, and they will take more Responsibility too. You can help the Measurables, and keep their motivation going by helping them move towards the goal.

Please feel free to add your own (or a member’s) SMART Goal for ‘keep fit’ in the comments below.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Motivation for a Run on a Cold, Wet, Grey Monday

It was a real struggle drumming up the motivation to get out for a run today, here's what helped:

In no particular order...
Possibly the only chance to do proper exercise this week - looking like a busy one!
howies merino base layer and waffler midlayer to keep me warm
RATM - Know Your Enemy
Doing 3 laps of Highgate Woods instead of 2
QT Quartet - Hold That Sucker Down (cheese-trance!)
@rachelyoung23 and michelle.marshall constantly tweeting/fbing about running
Having a bit of a cold and a sore throat
Sugar - Feeling Better
Because I knew when I got back I'd be really happy I'd done it
QOTSA - Go With The Flow
Knowing that tweeting about it would motivate others to get out there & do the same
Having told TG & AG that I would be going
and of course, Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

I normally see 2 or 3 other joggers out on a weekday lunchtime, but there were none today. Guess they didn't have the motivation in the rain & cold. Will come back and check this list next time I'm trying to decide whether to go or not...

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Fear of Failure and Learning to Walk

I’ve just enjoyed one of the most rewarding coaching days ever. There are often many things holding us back, preventing us from achieving our potential, or just stopping us from taking the next step. These can include fear of failure, worrying what others will think, distractions, lack of support, and many more besides!

Sometimes coach/client confidentiality makes it difficult to blog about coaching, but when you’re coaching a one year old to walk, it’s a bit different. We spent several hours today clinging onto the vtech walker, going round and round the lounge and up and down the hall. Fell down about 30 times, but got back up again 31 times.

It was wonderful to watch the progress throughout the day, to offer encouragement rather than advice, and to guide rather than interfere. It felt like coaching in its purest form. There was no doubt in my mind that she would soon be able to walk unaided (yes, I know how lucky we are that this is the case).

Sure, there were distractions (radiator thermostats, rugs, cats, and invisible things on the carpet that needed studying), but what was really refreshing is that there was absolutely no fear of failure, no judgement, just constant progression and positivity.

Looking back to simpler times can often be really inspirational. Feel good about the tumbles, learn from them and take encouragement, because if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

Monday, 1 November 2010

SMART Goals (part 2)


At a recent member retention workshop, we asked a group of fitness professionals to re-write the standard ‘lose weight’ goal as a SMART goal.  Using role play and working with each other as members, here are 5 of the best that they came up with:

• It is 14 Feb & I can fit into my size 12 dresses
• It is the end of January and I can walk all the way up the escalator at Tottenham Court Road without being out of breath
• I feel good on the beach in my bikini on my holiday in March
• I have more choice when shopping for clothes in the January sales
• It’s the end of December and I have visited the gym at least once a week

Not all of these goals cover all the bases of SMART, but they are good varied examples, and you would have to check with the individual on Attainability and Relevance.

These examples are given to help SMART goal setting, not to be assigned to your members. Remember that a goal is personal and as such, all members’ goals should be different.

Please feel free to add your own (or a member’s) SMART Goal for ‘lose weight’ in the comments below.

SMART Goals (part 1)

Goals are really important when it comes to coaching, and the same is true for member retention at the gym. If you have a decent goal, it’s much easier to monitor progression. And if your members can clearly see what they are achieving, they are much more likely to stick around.

But what is a decent goal? It is said that 80% of gym members join to lose weight. Others want to maintain or improve fitness or strength. These goals lack definition though, so it is important to understand how to describe your goals, and to record and share them.

The most common mnemonic used in goal setting is SMART, which has a variety of associations, but for our purposes, the most common ones are:

S   Specific (also Simple)
M   Measurable
A   Attainable (or Agreed)
R   Relevant (and Realistic, or Responsible)
T   Timely

When recording a goal, you don’t need to use a bullet for each of the five parts, but you should check that all points are covered. We’ll come back onto goal sharing in a subsequent post, but the other key part is writing the goal down. The person setting the goal (the member, not the instructor) should write the goal down, as this helps to visualise and take responsibility for the goal. Of course, if the instructor also records the goal, that’s great for ongoing support.

We’re going to share some goals with you in future posts, based on the standard ‘lose weight’ member, and also other members.