“What’s a good goal?”
Every blog, magazine article, self-help guru, and personal trainer will tell you the same exact thing when it comes to setting goals. They’ll all tell you the same three things.
- Goals must be achievable and realistic.
- Goals must be time-based, with a solid deadline.
- Goals must measurable and quantitative.
While this is great advice, it also puts a limit to the scope and depth of your goals. Setting your health and fitness goals with the above rules typically creates two types of problems:
- Goals that don’t improve your ability to function and perform in real life.
- Goals that have anything to do with your inner purpose and your bigger life goals.
Goals that are time-based, achievable, and quantitative, are simple to measure, but they’re often superficial and disconnected from your core purpose. These types of goals are easy to create, track, and quantify, but they have nothing to do with the things that matter most to you.
For example, if you set a goal to lose weight, will that help you to accomplish your bigger life goals? Well, that depends on what you do to lose the weight. If you swallow a bunch of tapeworms and diet pills to lose that weight, then you’re not really doing your purpose any justice. If you want to get bigger muscles, and you take steroids while doing dangerous, dysfunctional exercises, you’ll be going backward, in terms of your purpose pursuit.
Why We Need Deeper Goals
So ask yourself… “Once I reach my goal, am I going to be more able to achieve my core purpose? Will I be more capable? Am I going to be happier?”
In other words, once you weigh less, are you going to have an increased ability to make an impact in the lives of your loved ones? Are you going to to be more capable of fulfilling your life purpose after you reach your target weight?
Or, are you going to be the same old you on the inside, just noticeably more toned and/or ripped on the outside. Are you going to be able to perform any better? Will you be able to think and move any faster?
Are you going to be better, or just appear to be better?
Don’t get me wrong, weight loss goals are great. Being at your optimal weight improves your health and therefore increases your chances of fulfilling your core purpose.
However, the intention behind your weight loss matters. You have to ask yourself if your goals are superficial, to be sexier and better looking? Or, do your weight loss intentions come from deep inside your core, to help you perform and serve your loved ones better?
Superficial goal setting gets you superficial results and superficial fulfillment. To prevent this from happening, your goals should be formed upon and rooted in the foundation of your inner purpose.
When you start from the center and do everything from the inside out, everything you do, your every action and behavior will align with your inner purpose. You’ll stop wasting time and energy on other things that don’t align with your goals and your purpose. You’ll stop swallowing parasites and drugs to reach meaningless goals. Everything you do will align with your inner purpose, and your life will be much more fulfilling and meaningful.
When you set a core goal, you should be able to say, “I want to be blank, so that I can accomplish blank.” The first blank should be your goal, and the second blank should be your life purpose.
So, how do we set health and fitness goals that really matter? First, we need to talk about the three different types of health and fitness goals: biometric, movement, and skill.
Biometric goals measure physical qualities, like how much you weigh and how big you are. They measure things like weight, girth, body fat, heart rate, blood pressure, or other testable statistics. Biometric goals can even include the alignment tests like posture, joint stability, and range of motion.
An example of a biometric goal would be: “I want to weigh 175 pounds so that I can be the best motivator, cultivator, and warrior that I can be.” Assuming that weighing 175 pounds would help me accomplish my purpose, I would consider it to be a worthy goal.
The thing with biometric goals is that all of they deal with physical qualities, not abilities or functions. Being the optimal weight is a great indicator of better health and wellness. Being healthy obviously helps you to perform better, but it doesn’t require better performance.
When you have a purpose, you need to be able to function and perform, in addition to being the correct weight. An MMA fighter, for example, needs to be a certain weight, but he also needs to be powerful, fast, and long lasting. He also has to be able to perform with skill and control. He needs to function and perform better.
That brings me to the second type of goal. I call them movement goals, which are more complicated and harder to measure, but more indicative of higher function and capability.
Movement goals measure how far, how fast, how much you can move. Basically, they measure your capacity to create kinetic energy or force. In other words, movement goals are based on physical abilities, like strength, speed, power, endurance. They require performance tests, like how fast you can run a mile, how far you can throw a shot put, or how many pull ups you can do?
An example of a simple movement goal is…“I want to be able to run a mile in 7 minutes so that I can accomplish my purpose of being a motivator, warrior, and cultivator.”
Not that running a mile in seven minutes qualifies you as a warrior or motivator, but improving your ability to run faster will also make you a better warrior and motivator, because it gives you more energy, more stamina, and focus. Of course, more energy and better health makes any type of life goals easier to accomplish.
However, the best indication of better function and health is a performance goal.
Skill and performance based goals are the best types of goals because they require you to improve your focus, balance, and control. They require you to do better, to do more with your energy. When you improve your ability to perform a skill, you gain more control and self-mastery. You gain greater awareness of your body, your mind, and your environment.
With greater awareness, mastery, and control, you’ll be able to perform better in everything you do.
An example of a performance goal is…
“I want to improve my punching technique so that I can accomplish my purpose of being a motivator, warrior, and cultivator.”
The problem with skill and performance goals is that they are often difficult to measure and quantify. For example, if set a goal to improve my punching technique, I’m going to need some way of measuring that. So, the question becomes, how do you measure improvements in skill and technique, when all of those things are subjective?
You need a second set of eyes, hopefully from someone that is experienced and knowledgeable, to give you feedback, so you know how much progress you’re making. A coach, teacher, or trainer can watch your performance and let you know if you’re improving. Or, you can film yourself, and get some before and after videos. This way you can watch and evaluate your own progress. Either way, greater awareness will always help you to stay on track by showing you visual comparison of your past self, to give you progress feedback.
If you really want to test your skills, compete. The ultimate test is competition against another person. Set a goal to win, and you’ll train harder than you ever trained before, and you’ll improve function better than ever.
“Which Type of Goal Should I Set?”
So, what’s the best type of goal you set? Biometric? Movement? Or skill and performance? How about all three? Won’t being at your optimal weight help you run faster? Won’t being able to run faster help you to throw better punches?
A fighter, the most functional human being on the planet, would set biometric, movement, and skill goals at the same time. He would create a mixture of all three goals, to be lean and solid, to move powerfully and last longer. And, of course, he would set performance goals that relate to accuracy, skill, and control.
Imagine that you’re setting goals like you’re a professional MMA fighter and you’re getting ready for a fight. As a fighter, you would need to set goals that will help you move powerfully, with control and efficiency. Being able to do more with your energy
Now imagine that you’re fighting to accomplish your inner purpose. You still want to behave with power, control, and efficiency, so that you can make a bigger impact in the lives of your loved ones. You want to be able to make an impact, and doing more with your energy enables you to do that. Setting goals that help you to become more powerful, energetic, and skilled, also helps you reach your goals and make an impact. This is the key to experiencing happiness and fulfillment.
Making a Bigger Impact with Better Goals
As time passes, the more time and energy that you spend pursuing your goals and purpose, the happier you are. So, exercising with the intent to fulfill your inner purpose is a great way to experience happiness. Thinking of your inner purpose while exercising is also very motivating.
Thinking of your inner purpose while exercising is also very motivating. Training with purpose actually makes working out easier and more enjoyable, because it makes you more energetic.
The main point of setting goals like this is to create a connection and find a balance between your fitness goals and your overall life goals. If you think about your core purpose while you work to achieve your long-term fitness goals, you’ll do two things.
- You’ll enjoy the work and the pursuit of your fitness goals.
- You’ll be more likely to achieve both your long term goals and your inner purpose.
The work won’t be work, but it will be energy well spent and the pursuit will be more enjoyable.
Make sure you read my other articles as well so that you can learn more about the goal planning process. I even show you how to find your purpose and create daily habits to help you and reach your goals.