Do you remember the 5 W’s we learned in school? Who, what, when, where, why…often used for problem solving? I may not mention these words exactly as written with clients, but when I sit down with people for their initial assessment, these are all the questions I’m looking for direct answers to. Why? Because I relate this principle to goal setting. And that’s what people who reach out to personal trainers are looking for help with. Setting their goals and finding the best way to reach them. Us trainers come in with the bonus question…how! And everyone’s favorite…accountability. By the way, did you workout today?
Most people obviously know the “who” part of the equation - themselves. They also know the “what.” What do they want to accomplish? Weight loss or maybe a PR in a race? Since goal setting takes practice, I try to help people talk through a realistic “when” depending on what they can commit to personally. They also have to include the “where.”
It’s my job to use the answers from the previous questions and determine the “how.” Creating a roadmap for achieving the task at hand. And trust me, the roadmap is never set in stone, as one of the most important parts of any program, is adaptability. As people progress, or don’t progress, the plan/roadmap will most likely need to be adjusted accordingly.
No two people’s roadmaps are ever the same. Most people don’t successfully accomplish their goals using the same route as another person with similar goals. But there is one thing between most people that will provide results. I know, because I’ve seen it. The people I’ve worked with who have had the best results share one thing in common. Their “why.” Not necessarily the “why” itself, but the strength of it. Trying to lose weight or look like you did in your 20’s isn’t reason enough to stick to your plan. Having a heart attack, losing a loved one, or gaining new loved ones (becoming a parent or grandparent) do have the deepest impact I’ve seen with the most determined people.
I bring this up now as we are finishing the first month of 2018. As many people have seen, the beginning of the year is filled with resolutions, goals, and newly determined fitness routines. Year after year, we’re asked on January 31st - how are you doing with your resolutions? Have you reached any yet? Unfortunately, for many people who haven’t been able to stay on track, the resolutions are forgotten…until next year. Or the next “best time” to start.
As we round out January, I suggest you revisit your goals and write down your “why.” You don’t have to share it with others, but make sure you remind yourself why it’s important for you to reach your goal(s). Living, moving, and being able to enjoy special time with your family is what it’s about. If you need help with the “how” you know who to call.