On Monday, September 22, The Fort CrossFit kicks off its first ever Goal Setting & Achievement Challenge. If you’ve read my blog you might have notice past posts about Paleo Challenges. There was a time in my career that I advocated for this type of challenge. I saw people achieve great results. Individual who desired to feel better and lose weight were usually the ones who benefited most from such challenges. However, I always had some hang-ups about paleo challenges, but chose not to voice my opinions for a while.
In my years of studying nutrition and helping people make changes in their diets and lifestyles I realized that the one-size-fits-all format of a traditional paleo challenge is not the best way to do things. Sure, these kinds of challenges push (force?) people to make better choices, but I’m not sure people being pushed into those choices is the best way to go about things. If someone has to be pushed it means that she or he is resistant to begin with, which means that she or he might not actually be ready to make changes. When the challenge ends, this type of person does a 180 and all the progress goes away.
I have also noticed that people begin feeling guilty or like they have failed if they begin to eat things that are not “paleo”. Although not all foods are created equal and there are some products out there that I would not even consider food, we should not feel guilty for eating; for satisfying our primal need to survive. I mean, yes, if we free fall into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night there could be an issue, but indulging on occasion should not be cause for alarm and should not conjure feelings of decreased self-worth. And while I wholeheartedly believe that eating quality, clean, fresh foods should be the hallmark of our diets, a completely strict paleo-approach may not be the best fit for everyone. There are many factors that play into a person’s dietary needs and therefore what each person eats on a daily basis is highly variable.
There had to be a better way to get the same feel of a challenge; something that brings the community together but also gives people the chance to commit to something that maybe they have thought about without quite knowing where to start. I also wanted to make something that would be more individualized and give people a chance to be educated and learn about themselves. Hence the Goal Setting & Achievement Challenge. Believe me, I tried to think of a better, more engaging name, but I had to keep it simple and just roll with it. If you have a better idea for a name, let me know for next year!
So the Goal Challenge was set in motion. I am psyched that we have so much participation throughout the gym. Members have done a fantastic job of thinking through their goals and consulting with coaches to make up plans to achieve those goals. There is still time to think through goals. Even if you don’t have things set in stone you can still participate! If you are participating in the challenge – and even if you’re not – here at some things to keep in mind:
- Write it down! Write something down every day that has to do with your goals. Write down all the steps that you are planning to take on that day to help you move closer to achieving those goals.
- It’s a journey. Goals take time. Even Phase 1, which is 6 weeks in duration, is a very short period of time. Make sure you are thinking realistically about your goals and what you can accomplish in a given amount of time.
- Get by with a little help from your friends. Request the help of family and friends. Inform them of what you are trying to achieve. Ask for their support, but be specific in telling them how they can help you. Other people cannot read your mind.
- Challenge yourself. This is a challenge for a reason. Your goals should stretch you a little bit and make you feel uncomfortable. They should be realistic and eventually you should be able to achieve them, but the process should cost something. What will you sacrifice to reach your goals?
- You are resilient. If for some reason you have a misstep during the challenge know that you can get back up and turn it around. Know that you are strong enough to get back up when you fall down. When you wake up tomorrow it is a new day and a completely new opportunity to be positive and forge ahead.
On a personal level, I have never actually set a goal and achieved it. Crazy, I know. At one point in college I had gained about 10 extra pounds that I really didn’t need to be carrying around, so I went on a mission to lose that weight and I did. That was about the only time that I was close to setting and achieving a goal. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I set goals every day. Each day I plan what time I will get my training in and I stick to that plan by working out at the time I choose. I also plan meals for the week and cook them on days when I have a couple hours of free time. Although these are tiny things in the scheme of life, they all play in to keeping me healthy…which is the greatest goal of all. During this challenge I am truly looking forward to putting my mind to something, putting in the work, and achieving something that I really want to do. And I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…