How to Set the Right Goal

Goal setting week is upon us and while some of you may have your goals ready to go for your meeting with either Mike or myself, some of you might be having a hard time nailing down a goal you are satisfied with. Even if you have a goal or two ready to talk about, I want you all to think about a few thing in regards to the goals you are planning.

First, I want you to think about the WHY behind your goals.  


  1. Why do you want to do butterfly pull-ups?
  2. Why do you want to lose 25 pounds?
  3. Why do you want to run faster?

Possible answers:

  1. You have a CrossFit competition coming up and want to improve your pull-up speed.
  2. You have severe joint pain that you know will go away once you lose some weight.
  3. You signed up for a road race with your friends and you want to PR your 5k.

Knowing the why behind your goal and having a reason for working towards a goal is what will continue to motivate you weeks or months into the process.  It is difficult to work towards something for a long period of time unless we truly understand WHY we want it. You should also be passionate about your goal. If it doesn’t excite you now, it won’t excite you later.

Next, when determining your goals, think about creating S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Are your goals:

  1. Specific
  2. Measureable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely


There is a lot going on in those 5 words. For example, ‘Getting in better shape’ isn’t really a smart goal because how do you know when you’ve gotten there? How do you know that you have achieved your goal? How do you know when it is time to make a new and improved goal? Be specific. I want to be able to do a pull-up. I want to string together 10 unbroken double-unders. I want to front squat 260 pounds. A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.


Your specific goals need to be measurable. Yes, running faster is a goal, but not one that you can measure as is. You need to be more specific, like run a 5k in under 20 minutes. This also means that you need to know where you are starting at (example, your current 5k time) so that you can see yourself improve.


Your goals need to be attainable. You have to have the desire and the means to follow through with them. You could say that you want to complete an IronMan in 2019 in under 12 hours (specific, measurable and timely), but if you don’t have the time or dedication to train, it really isn’t an attainable goal at this time. Something more attainable might be to run a marathon in 6 months, or complete a sprint triathlon next summer.

Realistic & Timely

The goal has to be realistic for you. To be realistic, a goal must be one that you are both willing and able to work towards. Losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks or increasing your back squat by 100 pounds in a month isn’t safe or realistic. Depending on what your current weight is or what your max effort back squat is, we could talk about an appropriate timeline to reach either of those goals, which brings me to the last piece; timely goals. Set an end date. Without one, there is no sense of urgency and your more likely to lose motivation. For the purpose of this upcoming goal setting session, lets keep it to 8 weeks or less. Want to run a marathon in June? Awesome! But lets set an 8-week goal of a 5K, then another short term goal for a 10k, etc. Keep your eye on the prize and stay focused!

Goals are so important to have and allow us to build discipline and push past our comfort zones. Does your goal make you a little anxious? Good! Use that energy to work on it. Don’t let the fear of failing hold you back. We are focusing on progress, not perfection.  “Our lives are lived the most in the moments that we do something we never thought we would do.”

Happy goal setting week!

Coach Heather




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