With the new year coming, it's about time when everyone will start talking about goals for the new year. I thought I would share a bit about goal setting with all of you. For those of you who have been in management in any company, you know how much they love to toss around acronyms. Like WHEE (Work Hard Everyone, Everyday)or ANUS (Annual Net Usage Statistics) or any other dumb crap like that. Eventually you quit paying attention to all the acronyms because they are just trying to make you memorize stuff that you already know anyway. But I'm going to give you an acronym for goal setting that will actually help you, one worth memorizing. When setting goals, I want you all to always remember to be S.M.A.R.T.E.R. What does this mean? Well, let me break it down for you: Specific - always specify what exactly you are planning to do. Example, rather than say "getting stronger in the squat" you would say "squat 405 lbs" Measurable - has to be something where you can actually gauge progress. "Get in better shape" is harder to measure than "lose bodyfat" Attainable - you must actually be able to get the goal, or what is the point in setting it? Unattainable goals mean you will lose motivation - why try if you can't get it anyway? If you deadlift 405 now, do not set your goal for 800 lbs Relevant - choose goals that will help you move forward over the course of the year and help you maintain focus on the things that actually matter Time Bound - Very important! Set time frames for everything. Making a deadline for the goal puts the pressure on and helps keep you motivated. When you were in college and you were given an assignment due by the end of the semester, when do you think most people completed that assignment? Example - goal is to reach 10% bodyfat by March 1st. Enjoyable - Try to make your goal something that will make you feel good about yourself. Recognize - Recognize yourself for your accomplishments. When you hit that 405 lb squat, post it on your training log, post it on your facebook - recognition goes a long way to make you feel good about hitting your goals, which in turn makes you more motivated to keep setting and attaining goals. If you keep these guidelines in mind when you set your goals for the new year, I promise you that you will be more successful than if you set bland goals like "I want to get in better shape" or "I need to improve my cardio and/or get stronger" - concrete goals that are intelligently thought out are the key to continued progress throughout the year. Think about this. When December 31st, 2013 comes around, do you want to look back at the year and feel disappointed that you accomplished nothing, or do you want to be proud of everything you did over the year, all the goals you achieved and the personal records you broke? The choice is yours. Make sure you post all your goals publicly so that you are accountable for them and like I said, post it for everyone to see when you hit your goals. It's ok to try to get a pat on the back for achieving a goal, and that pat on the back will help you continue hitting your goals all year long. And the biggest, most important thing to remember... when you achieve a goal, set a new one. Continual improvement, that is the key to success.