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Last year I posted about setting goals using the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). I proposed changing the “A” to “Adjustable” – as in, make it a high-reaching goal, and then be ready to adjust your expectations if life gets in the way.

Checking Against the Map

As one of my few idols, the mixed-martial arts great Georges St-Pierre, says in his autobiography, The Way of the Fight: “Pick a goal, make a realistic plan to reach that goal, work through each step of the plan, and repeat.”

So how are we all doing, based on last year’s plan?

Keeping it Personal

Some of my goals did come to fruition. The biggest one: I was thrilled to attend the powerlifting Nationals! Especially with it being held in Ottawa, it seemed so, well, national. Plus, everyone should be able to skate the Rideau Canal at least once in their life.

But I’ve had to acknowledge that one over-arching goal, that of breaking the national powerlifting record for my age and class, is probably too lofty.

In 2019, life did indeed get somewhat in the way of the advances I had hoped for.

In the summer, I realized my cardio had really taken a hit with the strength focus, so I planned a detour from strength as I prepared for the Seek the Peak race in June… then there was a two-week gap in the summer. It was for a worthy reason (an international trip to meet a ton of in-laws), but my workouts could only consist of bodyweight and band moves. But the true curve ball (surprise!) was that right after Labour Day hit, I ended up needing to spend a quarter of the year tending to an ailing parent in another province.

“A” is for “Adjustable”

Now, I want to balance my training so that general physical conditioning is addressed, not only strength. During the fall, I purchased more kettlebells to make sure I could get in my own workouts every day before checking a single email. It was a great strategy, and provided a model to follow even when life feels less drastic.

I’m aiming to get the following strength benchmarks at the Nationals in 2021: bodyweight bench, 1.5x bodyweight squat, double bodyweight deadlift — all of which will give me just a few points over the 300 Wilks score that I was eyeing earlier in 2019.

To stay balanced, my other strength goals would be to get my StrongFirst Level 2 kettlebells (hopefully in December 2020 when I re-take the course), and eventually move on to get the StrongFirst bodyweight certification as well – daunting, to be sure, but not entirely out of range either.

The Open Road

And you? Again, what makes your heart beat faster with the thrill of achieving it…or not? And what steps will you take to truly aim to get there?