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How to Smash Your Goals

Written in 2012, so please excuse the parts that are not about being stuck at home in 2020.

What did you do today?

Woke up, ate, got in your car, went to work maybe, ate, worked more, ate, came here.


Because you had a goal. Most “goals” like these are based off of simple needs. The need for shelter, the need for stability, food, etc..

Not a hard decision.

We’re here for setting personal goals, specific goals. Athletic goals, but much of what we go over today will cross over into other areas.

Everybody get your notebooks out and open to an empty page.

Who needs paper/pen?

Take 60 seconds and think of one specific athletic achievement you’d like to make in 2020. Define your SPECIFIC goal & write it down.

Right now.

Write it again, right underneath where you just wrote it.

Sit with it for a minute. Think about it. Picture yourself doing it.

Who’s willing to go out on a limb and share their goal?

I want you to put what you just wrote down where you’ll see it everyday.

Dashboard, back of cell phone, bathroom mirror.

Doesn’t have to be elaborate, can even be coded to yourself.

One word, abbreviations. whatever, a stick figure drawing of someone crossing a finish line. You’ll know what it means.

Developing your plan

Be Specific

Run a marathon in the next 12 months,

not Run a marathon someday.

Do a muscle up by March 1st,

not ‘get a muscle up’

Do 5 RX benchmark WODs in 2012,

not ‘do RX someday’

Get to 10% body fat by June 2012,

not lean out/tone up


Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper.

First column is measurable, second really isn’t.

You need to have a specific and defined goal with checkpoints along the way.

Let's talk about using something called backward planning.

Pretty much setting your goal, and then creating a timeline.

Marathon-final goal is 26.2 miles, plot out the weeks you have, add 1 mile to each week. Provided you don’t overtrain and rest enough, by race day you should be good to go.

Set the goal and work back. Does not need to be perfect, just sketch it out and then perfect the draft.

Remember writing papers? The first draft was never perfect.

Example - Muscle up-

Start with floor muscle up, then jumping transition, then band assisted, working pull ups & dips.

Work with a coach, develop a plan.

I have X amount of pull ups, Coach tells me I need several C2B pull ups and several ring dips. What should I do to get those?

C2B pull ups and ring dips. Weighted pull ups, Weighted dips, transition work. Work! Don't quit - work more!


Ask people that have done it already. Some people will have the ‘I dunno’ story...these are usually the naturals. The ones that just go and do it.

Many with have the hard road story.

Learn from both.

Go online and check out other peoples failures and successes.


Don’t just assume that because it’s online it’ll work.

I know, mind blowing.

Make it Attainable

Is it something that can really be done?

Right now your mile time is 8 minutes and you can back squat 250 pounds.

If your goal is to run a 4:15 mile and to back squat 600 pounds for 5 reps, will that happen?

How about a 6:00 mile and 315 for 3 reps? Set that, work from there.

Let's take the marathon guy, a CrossFitter that just wants to complete it in a reasonable time.

Try running a marathon in under 4 or 5 hours compared to run a marathon in 2:30 the first time out.

Back to Mrs. Muscle Up. If you don’t have pull ups & dips, a muscle up is not in your scope.

Set pull ups and dips as your first real goal.

If you have pull ups and dips, pull a coach aside and book 30 minutes. I personally love to work on getting people MUs. That first one is like a brain implosion.


Shout these out!

Angie-maybe too high in volume??? 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats

Annie-Better get good at double unders

50-40-30-20-10 double unders, sit ups Barbara-again, high volume

20 pull ups, 30 push ups, 40 sit ups, 50 squats, rest 3 minutes x5

CINDY-AH! I can do 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats. Maybe only 5 times, but I can do it.

Diane-HSPU? Uh-oh

21-15-9 225 DL/hspu


21-15-9 Clean/Ring dip

Fran-Grind it out sub 10? Finish it in 15 minutes?

21-15-9 Thruster/pul Up

Grace-165# 1RM, maybe it takes 15 minutes but so what?

135# C-N-J x30


135# snatch x30

probably not if 1RM is not up there, butchering the form

Jackie-Here we go! 1k row great, 50 thrusters-tough but doable, 30 pull ups-just get em done

Karen-Not advisable, but doable-150 wall ball shots @ 20#


10 to 1 bw and a half DL/bw bench/.75 bw clean

Lynne-Max reps BW bench, max pull ups-Can I bench BW? Am I close?

Mary-High skilled, probably not

5 hspu, 10 pistols, 15 pull ups, 20 min amrap

Nancy-400 m run COOL!, max pull ups-have a good handful

Nicole-OHS? Maybe, maybe not...unless you’re a BAMF at OHS

SO now I have 4 that I know I CAN do. Need to pick a 5th.

Goal within the goal-Cindy, Grace, Jackie, Nancy and.....?

Karen-get really good at wall ball shots?

Nicole-Get good at OHS (Is it a weakness?? Then work it!)


3 R’s

It’s not reading writing and rithmatic

Relevant, Realistic & Rewarding.

Relevant- is it relevant to you and your lifestyle & goals.

Avid CrossFitter decides he wants to back squat 900 pounds.

Is it relevant?

Maybe. Know that there is going to be a lot of GPP (general physical preparedness aka fitness) lost.


Do you have fallen arches, bad knees and ingrown toenails? Maybe that marathon isn’t the best goal. If you really want it, for whatever reason-don’t let anything stop you but weigh the risk/reward.

Muscle up-holy grail. If you do not have dips and pull ups, step back, set a realistic goal and then set a far off goal. Don’t throw out the muscle up, but set pull ups and dips and realistic goals. Maybe a MU by the end of 2012.

Get it by the end of January? GREAT!

At the same time, don’t make it too easy. If you have 30 straight c2b pull ups and can do infinite ring dips but can’t do a muscle up because of technique, make your goal to spend 5 minutes on transition work for the next week and you’ll probably get it.

Set your 2012 goal as maybe 7 straight muscle ups.

Maybe 10.


Rewarding- Make it FEEL good! The win has to be tangible.

Make it Timed & Trackable

Ahhhh-very CrossFit here.

How do I know my 400 time got better?

Because the watch says 59 seconds and my notebook says my PR was 1:01.

Pretty clear.

But, by time I also mean timeline. How long will it take to get there?

When will you do it by?

Depends on the goal.

Is that time line realistic?

If I have 0 pull ups and my goal is to do 5 rx WODs by next Thursday, probably not a great goal, it’s a set up for failure.

If I have 10 strict pull ups, a 200# back squat and good push ups, I might be pretty close.

Here’s where we get all Tony Robbins, and as much as it’s laughable, this stuff works.

Tell yourself you’re going to fail and you will.

Tell yourself you can do it and you just might.

State each goal as a positive statement - Express your goals positively –

"I might make this lift" vs. "I’m gonna bleeping lift this crap so bleeping easily."

See it all the time with beginners...What are you thinking about? I don’t know.....has to be some form of intensity. Think of someone you hate, raise up adrenalin by and means. Different for everyone. For the mother of 3 it might be her kids trapped under a car. For the single dude it might be attracting someone. Whatever it is, use it as fuel. Without it, you won’t make it.

Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement.

Set priorities - When you have several goals, give each a priority.

Write goals down - This crystallizes them and gives them more force. Keep them where you can see them.

Set realistic goals - It's important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.

It's also possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.

If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goal harder.

If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goal a little easier.

If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so.

If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set goals to fix this.

Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen.

Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, and develop a plan your odds of success are considerably reduced.

Again, and it's worth repeating:

Tell yourself you’re going to fail and you will.

Tell yourself you can do it and you just might.

Good luck out there! Put in the work, get the results.

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