SMART goals

Earn it.

As we enter 2017 let's focus on our ability to EARN IT. Put in the work and you will earn the rewards. Rather than setting New Year's Resolutions that are unfulfilling or leave us feeling unaccomplished, let's enter 2017 with a new mindset:

hard work truly does pay off and if you EARN it yourself, the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes along can be just as good, if not better, than the outcome itself.

Too often, no actual plan is employed to achieve New Year's resolutions ... just blanket hopes that we can FINALLY change our behavior (exercise more, eat more veggies, stop drinking, sleep more, start that remodel, etc.)


But, we all know that no goal is achievable without a plan. Thinking in terms of EARNING something makes a goal more tangible, but ...

you will still require a thorough plan!!

I speak toward this with patients all the time.

Earn your movement!

Work on the part-to-whole practice, do your drills, put in the time to do it right, ask for help, be humble, be coachable, consider the wealth of resources around you to help you on your journey, listen to your body, do what's right for you and YOUR goal(s). Then, when you do it right repetition after repetition, you have earned your movement- you can progress at that point and not set yourself up for injury.

So, how do we do this?  We make a goal.  Rather than a resolution, let's make a few goals for the year and use the planning strategy below for successful completion. Earn it in 2017.

SMART goals

Successful goal completion comes with a new way of thinking.  No matter the goal, planning and SMART goal setting should come into play.  Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can earn in 2017:


Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Sleep 8 hours a night? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.


A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.  


Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to want to achieve a lot, but don’t be too extreme otherwise you will let yourself down if the goal wasn't reached . Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits. 


Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal that someone else is pressuring you to attain.  That can be unrealistic and perhaps unachievable.


Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started. 


I will be able to perform two ring muscle ups within the time-cap of CrossFit Open workout 14.4 by March 1, 2017.  

  • S: this goal is specific and clear

  • M: this goal is measurable giving an amount to perform in a certain time-frame for the workout

  • A: this goal is attainable for me personally. Just the other night, I performed this workout and had 30 seconds left of the 14minute workout to attempt muscle ups. I just happened to miss them.

  • R: this goal is relevant because I have been working on ring muscle ups since October 2016 and the Open is just around the corner

  • T: this goal is time-bound with a specified date

Some other examples of SMART goals:

  • I will dedicate myself to my physical therapy exercises for 20 min, 5 days per week for the next 2 months so that hip impingement does not continue to sideline me from running. (Adding a why can help with accountability.)

  • I will register for a Movement Screen at Arrow Physical Therapy before the end of February 2017 so that I can better understand what is limiting my ability to perform an overhead squat.

  • I will use the Headspace App twice per week for the next 3 months so that mindfulness becomes a habit for me and as such I clear my mind and allow for more free thinking as a busy healthcare provider.

What are your SMART goals?  What will you earn this year?