The end of the year is fast approaching. Like many years, the past 12 months passed by rather quick for us. We review our progress in life and fitness in an ongoing fashion throughout the year, but as the fall draws near, we begin to take an even closer look. The idea is to asses how the year went so far, if we have reached or are close to reaching our goals, if we need to change something to reach our current goals before the end of the year and to begin setting our goals and planning for next year. What we think about We may think about any number of topics during a review, but inevitably a few categories come up.
How are we doing financially?
How are we doing in our relationship?
How is the business doing?
How is our training going?
Have we achieved our goals for the year?
Now, it might seem odd to think about this in the fall. Some people might think we should wait until closer to the end of the year or even after the turn of the new year. Others might say we should think about these things throughout the year. We would agree with both statements. That said, fall just happens to be a time when we look back. It means most of the year is behind us, but we still have time to focus on any goals we have not achieved, and we have time to create or finalize plans for the next year. So, let’s take a look at these questions we ask ourselves. How are we doing financially? This question is relatively straightforward. It ties into the question of how the business is doing, but encompasses more than that. We look at income, debt, savings, retirement, and other financial markers to see how we're doing. If we've made a reasonable amount of money, paid down a reasonable amount of debt (and not acquired more), have money in savings, contributed to retirement, and met other financial markers we set for ourselves, then we're on the right path. If we have not done these things, then we're not quite on that path. However, we don’t look at things in an all or nothing way. If we've not met all the markers, we'll look at what we did achieve and say "atta boy (or girl)." Then look at what we didn't achieve to determine what we did wrong in an attempt to plan better for next year. How are we doing in our relationship? We're madly deeply in love with each other. If you know us personally, you realize there is no one else but each other who we would rather spend time with. Other people suck, and we're awesome, so of course, we want to be around each other! Okay, that is a bit of a joke, since not all people suck, though some do. We do think we're awesome though! When thinking about how we're doing, we almost don’t need to put thought to it. All year long we're trying our hardest to be good to one another, and that paves the way to a good relationship day in and day out. But we still stop and talk about if we've been good to each other, if the other person has complaints, if there is something more each of us should be doing to keep the relationship happy, etc. We do this at other times of the year, of course, but this is another good time to do it. This might seem odd to some, but it is a big part of why we are still into each other after eleven years. It's also why we rarely have big fights, why we get over arguments quick, why we don’t stay mad at each other, and why we've never needed counseling or for an outside party (family, friends) to act as an intermediary in our relationship. How is the business doing? We look at the business much like we do the finances, in that we look to see if we've reached certain markers we set. We give ourselves the "atta boy" for what went right and look for ways to improve what went wrong. One thing we put a lot of consideration into, at this time and throughout the year, is if we provide an excellent value to our clients and provide excellent service. Now, this is partially dictated on the client; we can do our best to provide excellent value and service, but if the client is difficult and unmotivated, we'll never truly be successful with that client. Still, it's one of our biggest focuses. If we can say we've done our best to achieve this end, we're on the right path. There are other things we consider as well, but those go beyond the scope of this writing. Plus, you don’t really want to hear about that. I mean, who wants to hear about our valuation of our social media strategy, SEO strategy, overall marketing strategy, how well we balanced the books, how well we interacted with clients, the services we offer (the rights ones at the right time), etc. There's a lot that goes into it, and it would be overwhelming or effing boring for most of you. How is our training going? Our workout program is important to us. We're not competitors, but we enjoy working out and find personal satisfaction in the process. Of course, some of you will say that we need to look the role since fitness is our business and you would be correct. However, we could be a lot less focused and hard working than we are and still look the role. We like to set our goals high and work hard to achieve them. We take pride in the effort we put in and the result we achieve. When, at different points such as fall, we look back at our training progress, we assess if we've reached our goals and determine what we did right or wrong. We take this information and formulate new strategies to be successful. Honestly, we rarely miss our goals when it comes to our workout programs. In fact, we usually surpass them. For example, Nathan set personal records an average of once per week all year long (so far). He ran further, lifted more, performed better on circuits, increased mobility, and learned new skills, among other goals. He completed more than he set out to complete at the beginning of the year. That said, we do not always achieve goals and that is okay. The process is not an all or nothing commitment. As long as we can say we put in an honest effort and we reached a reasonable amount of our goals, then we're on the right path. Have we achieved our goals for the year? This last one is just a cumulative review of the other questions. After considering each area separately, we look at them together and determine how we did on the whole. Most times, we can pat ourselves on the back more than chide ourselves. We always have things we failed at, could have done better, or still need to work on, but as long as the majority of the time we do what we need to, then we're on the right path. What about you? Are you on the right path for the year? But what about next year? Now that we talked about the current year, let's consider next year for a few moments. All of you will have some goals for next year and one of the best things you can do is define these goals. Defining goals allows you to acknowledge what you want to achieve, set a plan to do so, and have something against which to measure. Goal setting Goal setting is the paramount activity in reaching any goal. If you don't know what your goal is, you cannot create a plan to work toward it. This applies to anything in life, whether work, school, training, nutrition, relationships, or other tasks. For example, it is not uncommon for someone to begin college with an undefined major. A person with an undecided major has not determined his or her end degree. This is less than ideal. Sure, these persons can earn general college credits that apply to all degrees, but if they take this path too long, courses that may not apply to their end degree begin to accumulate. For example, if a person is undecided, but takes classes toward a business major, only to decide on an IT degree, then those classes could equal wasted time and money. The same idea is true for health and fitness. If your goal is one thing, but you complete tasks that lead you toward another, then you're wasting time (and maybe money or other resources). For example, if your goal is to improve basketball performance, but you follow a bodybuilding program, then you're headed down the wrong path. Conversely, if you want to lose weight, but you use a nutrition strategy that provide enough calories to maintain your current weight, then you're not going to reach your goal. Set a goal 2018 is here with 2019 fast approaching, You should have goals for this year, and there is no better time than now to think about goals for next year. If you are reading this, you have a goal for health and fitness. You're not here for our colorful personalities. Think about what that goal is. Ask yourself right now "what do I want to achieve physically before the end of 2018 and in 2019?" You might come up with one goal or multiple goals. That is fine. If you have trouble visualizing your goals, speak them out loud. Take some time to really think about what you want to achieve, looking at problem areas, such as health, fitness, or physiques, to determine what you want to work on. Articulate these things aloud to yourself. You might consider enlisting a friend or loved one. Now, we understand this might seem silly or even embarrassing, but it can help. You want to pick someone supportive but honest. You don’t want someone who won’t support you setting goals, who will say it is stupid to do so or try to hold you back, but you also don't want someone who is a yes man and won't provide you quality feedback. When we set our goals, we talk to each other about them. Write it down Write that goal down. If you have multiple goals, write them all down. If you have multiple goals, put them in order of importance. Next to each goal, place a number noting it as more or less important. For example, if you have three goals, a number one should go next to the most important one, a number two next to the second most important one, and a number three next to the least important one. Now rewrite the list in order from most important to least important. Keep it in sight Place that list of goals in a place where you will see them. You might keep it in your purse or wallet. You might put it on the fridge or bulletin board. You might keep it as a digital sticky note or on your digital reminder. It doesn’t matter where you keep it if you can see it on a regular basis. It's really that simple Setting a goal really is that simple. Think about what you want, write it down, keep it in plain sight, and work toward it every day.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.