Reasonable Goals vs. Lame Goals


There has been a lot of talk out there this week about goals. Actually, I say “out there” but what I really mean is “inside my own head and sometimes on Julie Foucher’s blog too” (because as we all know, me and JF are besties, I even met her in the bathroom at the StubHub Center once… but I digress). We even did a podcast about goals last week, and it got me to thinking that it was high time that I set some goals that didn’t suck.

You may remember that in June I set daily goals for a while. I kind of loved doing that because of the sense of accomplishment it gave me, but let’s be honest, it was not really that big of a stretch for me to drink 3L of water a day or to remember to roll out my hamstrings before bed. In fact, I was already doing most of those things. But I decided to turn them into “goals” so that I could feel awesome about doing them instead of just feeling like they were my normal life.

And the reason I did that was because once upon a time, I was told to make SMART goals. It’s a nerdy acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable/Results-Oriented, Time-bound. Yes, Attainable and Reasonable are sort of the same thing, but there you have it. And I have taken that acronym pretty literally during my time as a goal setter. And, it turns out, that was getting to be a problem.

In Julie Foucher’s blog post (if you haven’t already clicked that little link up there to read it, I would highly suggest doing so), she talks about how people (well, women specifically) get sort of caught in the trap of saying things like, “I just want to do my best” instead of “I want to F$%@in WIN!” And I think that I have been sort of getting sucked into that as well. Earlier today I was writing a post for the Girls Gone WOD Blog about my goals for the fall, and one of them is to get a 100# Snatch by January 1, 2014. As I wrote that, I immediately deleted it and instead wrote 85#. My current PR is 75#, so getting to 85 would be great, but not exactly a stretch. In other words, I’m pretty sure I could do it.

Getting to 100# by the end of the year though? The thought of that kiiiinda scares the crap outta me.

And anyway, my goals are supposed to be Attainable and Reasonable, right? Is a 30% increase in my snatch PR in 4.5 months something that I can actually do?

Maybe I am taking this “Attainable and Reasonable” thing a little too far. I think that those guidelines are more meant to keep you from having goals like “I am going to leap across the Panama Canal” or “I am going to vanquish The Dark Lord” (I’ve been reading a lot of HP lately). But what I’ve been doing instead is basically sandbagging myself.

So, I went for it. I wrote that 100# snatch goal down. Along with some other big goals, including a BHAG (which is Student Council Camp terminology for Big Hairy Audacious Goal… aka The Big One) that kind of surprised even me. If you want to read them, you can go check ‘em out OVER HERE.

And now it’s your turn. What is your BIG GOAL that you have been wanting to make but that kinda scares the crap out of you? Maybe now is the time to make it happen… Or at least to write it down. Trust me, it’s a pretty good feeling.

  • brooke lyn

    i love JF! can you share her as a bestie?!

    • clairechapman

      Totes, I’ll just sent her a quick text to make sure she’s cool with it…

  • Rebecca @StrengthandSunshine

    My big goal is to start running and overcome all the excuses and fear I have for it!

    • clairechapman

      Awesome! Good luck!

  • kristina g.

    loved this post. ive been playing with goal setting myself.

    crossfit wise- iven been trying to hit a 200# back squat for some time now.. it took me 3 weeks of a specific back squat program to jump from 185 to 190…ugh…today was my second day on my new program. here i go!

    non-crossfit trying to read more..i like to start books. get half way..then i forget about them…Game of thrones..yea ive been reading those books for over a year now…im only on book 3…even if they are 1000 pages each…i want to finish what i start. a book or a back squat goal!

  • Sharde Davis

    OOOOO. This is a good one. makes me almost uncomfortable. I want to be able to do pull ups unassisted. No body band no spotter, 10 of them! TO UPPER BODY STRENGTH!

  • NJ Paleo

    Oh, boy, it scares the crap out of me to write down/put into the public domain certain goals…but here go the BHAGs:
    a) qualify for Boston marathon within 5 years (gasp….so near yet so far…will require several tries after very specific training)
    b) bring 5K PR down to under 24 minutes (currently at 24:38 this year, was at 24:06 2 years ago so not terribly far out of reach, but will require specific training for a specific race)
    c) 200# deadlift by January 1, 2014 (was at 195# before I started marathon training, have dropped down to 175# so after October marathon will be able to start heavy training again)
    I think you can slay the Dark Lord for sure!

  • Sam

    Ahh, this totally speaks to how I have been feeling lately! With this in mind – I’m going to register for a half marathon scheduled for December 1st!

  • Becky @

    My big goal is to hit a 200# deadlift this year. I’m currently at 175# so I think I can get there.

  • Ilse

    There’s research that says setting BHAGs are better because you will accomplish more than setting a smart goal. I don’t remember where I read that but I have to read lots of educational researchy thingys (technical term). Mine are a 200# deadlift and a 55# overhead squat all the way down. I also want to keep my office clean and be organized… Which is a bigger hairier goal than the other two!


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