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Why is setting a goal important?

Time is flying and we're half way through June already (fingers crossed the sunshine is making a welcome return which will be fab for our Rutland Water class on Wednesday!)

With the weeks shooting by we're focussing more on our individual goals in class to give us something more personal to aim for over the coming weeks and months.

Taking a few moments to think about what you'd like to achieve and WHY can really spur you on when life gets busy and other commitments get in the way. It also makes your Pilates session more personal and individual and spurs you on when things get hard.

So what do we need to think about when setting a goal?

We need to make it as specific as possible and sometimes looking back at the SMART strategy can help. When asking clients about goals 'strengthening my core' tends to be one that I hear a lot. What is going to help with achieving this goal is that we break it down and make it a little less vague.

If we look at the SMART framework we want to put 'strengthening my core' through this lens.

S stands for Specific, how can we make this goal more specific? Do I want to strengthen my core (and by this do I mean my abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles?) and if the answer is yes - then why? Do I want to strengthen my lower abdominal muscles so my back is supported and hurts less? Or do I want to improve my abdominal muscles so I'm standing taller and my posture is better? Each of these is slightly different, is personal to you and has a different outcome.

M is for Measureable - by measuring how many of a certain move I'm doing I'll know if I'm improving or not. So if I want to improve mobility in my shoulders how many shoulder rolls can I do now with good form and control? Maybe its 5. By noting this I'll be able see week by week that I'm improving and that I'm able to do 1-2 more which will keep motivating me and boost my confidence.

A is for Achievable. If my goal is to strengthen my core to protect my back starting with toe taps and legs slides is a great and achievable way to start. Aiming to strengthen my core with Level 3 Hundred with straight legs and a curled up upper body is probably not achievable at the moment (and can leave me feeling down if I don't achieve it and can actually make me fall off the wagon) if I know that I'm building up my curl up strength and tabletop legs doesn't suit me at the moment.

R is for Realistic. This can tie in with Achievable and also prompts us to think about how often we're working toward our goal. Are daily toe taps going to be realistic for us to strengthen our core or is 2-3 times a week going to work better?

T is for Timely. When are we going to revisit out goal and see if we've achieved it? It can take at least 6-8 weeks and realistically up to 12 weeks to see a change so when are we going to check in with ourselves to see if we've achieved our goal? And how will we know if we've achieved it? Will there be less back pain? Will we be able to curl up into the 100 without our upper traps getting tense?

Setting a goal is a great way so spur you on and keep your eyes on the prize when life gets busy and there are other demands on your time.

If you're stuck, thinking about something that would make a big difference to your life and lights you up when you think about it is a good way to go.

By setting ourselves goals this gives us something to keep aiming for and builds up our confidence as we achieve it and gets us out of our comfort zone.

After all , if we've achieved this, what else could we achieve?

If you need a little help with goal setting, have something specific that you'd like to work towards or need more accountability in helping you achieve your goals private sessions are a great way to go - find out more here.

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