Emma Wrath


As we find ourselves sliding into 2020 after a busy festive period, you may find yourself thinking about setting some goals or intentions for the year ahead.

Whether you are a regular goal setter, someone who has forgotten their New Years resolution by February, have a big event coming up or a race you are training towards, being clever with your goal setting can help take your training to the next level and keep your motivation sky high all year long.


Where to start?

With most new years resolutions being broken by the 19th January, do not feel pressured or rushed to chose a goal for the year ahead. Taking time to evaluate what you really want to achieve and what really matters to you will help you reach that goal in the long term. Then, it is establishing how many goals you want to have: whether you have one big focus or a couple in mind, it may be helpful to break these down.

For example:

Goal: To run a 10km in under 60minutes by April 1st.

Subgoal 1: Attend strength & conditioning classes twice a week to build lower limb strength and reduce risk of injury.

Subgoal 2: Run twice a week, following a progressive running programme.

Subgoal 3: Meal prep on Sunday to increase free time in the week for running.



Using the SMART principle is a great way to ensure your goals are clearly defined, measurable and attainable. Have a look through the points below, asking yourself the following questions and write your goals down using pen and paper. Don’t use your phone or write it on your computer, there is something finite in putting pen to paper so record them in your diary, stick them on your fridge or keep them on your desk at work.

S - Specific. Ask yourself what do I want to accomplish and why is it important to you?

M - Measurable. How much, how many and when will it be completed? Having a way to monitor and measure progress is helpful for maintaining motivation levels and holding your self accountable. This could include using a diary, photos or recording reps, sets and weight for example.

A - Achievable. How can I accomplish this goal? Is it realistic, considering time, family and financial constraints?

R - Realistic/Relevant. Is this the right time? Will it help me achieve a bigger goal? Will achieving this make me happy?

T - Time bound. When are you aiming to reach this goal? What can you do six months from now? What can you do six weeks from now? What can you do today?


Get others involved

Often we want to keep goals to ourselves to avoid hearing what others think or due to our fear of failure, however getting others on board and allowing other to support you can be a really big help and lift your motivation even on the darkest days. Speaking to your physio, friends or family can also help you to take responsibility for your goals, helping you to clearly set them out in your mind and to help you stay accountable. Ask a friend to join you for a class or get your children involved - it makes exercise much more fun!


Consistency is key

One of the hardest thing with changing habits is consistency. The biggest example of this is the ‘Monday morning diet’ we have all started which by Friday has gone out the window. The simplest way to combat this is to try and establish a routine. This may be very difficult to begin with but humans are creatures of habit and after just 4-6weeks you will continue this new routine without thinking about it.


Don’t be afraid of failure, or to think big!

Even if we don’t achieve our goals 100% of the time we may still have achieved huge milestones in the process and learnt things about ourselves along the way. Be kind to yourself, listen to your body and celebrate the small wins. Equally, if you achieve your goal sooner than expected, why not set another goal!


Think outside the box

Don’t forget to think about other lifestyle factors that may be impacting on your goals. Often stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition can affect our energy levels, weight, motivation and risk of injury. Working hard towards a goal can be physically and emotionally draining at times so make sure you make time for yourself. Don’t be fooled in thinking this is a reason to throw your goals out of the window, but find ways to reward yourself without compromising your goals.


Still need inspiration?

The chances are that if you are reading this you are probably already part of the Four Sides London community. If you are having Physio and rehabilitation, your goals may not just be about reducing pain or getting back to your exercise regime. What if your goal is to become stronger than you were pre-injury? What if, instead of just building strength through a home exercise programme, you aim to join a strength and conditioning class that you’ve always wanted to do but have been to wary of in the past? If this is the case and you have never done a strength and conditioning class with us at Four Sides London you will need to book an Intro session so we can assess your movement and strength. After identifying and discussing the areas where you can improve, we will guide you towards the best classes for you. If you are in Pilates classes: your goal may be to progress to more advanced content on the reformer, increase the colour of resistance on your mini loops or increase your gluteal endurance so you can join a Pilates Circuit class.


If you would like help or guidance on setting your own goals, any of our therapists will be more than happy to help. We love to see people flourish: move, feel and live stronger!