Setting Goals and Keeping them in 2017


Setting Goals and Keeping them in 2017

It’s a new year. A new you right? Have you set any resolutions for 2017? Generally, most people set goals each year. They may be big or small – drink 2L of water every day for the year, run a ½ marathon, loose 5kg, hit a 100kg deadlift. You get the picture.


Although, when it comes down to actually achieving those New Year resolutions, unfortunately most people don’t even achieve their goals. A recent study* found that as many as two in three people don’t succeed with their New Years’ resolutions.


When it comes to health and fitness, people tend to set high expectations for themselves; looking to loose weight, “tone up” or just “build muscle”. Gym’s and fitness centres’ around Australia from the 1st of January each year are packed with new members looking to achieve their goals, as the month(s) continue, the new members tend to drop off for different reasons.


Although with CrossFit, each day during our WODs we push ourselves somewhat harder than what we would if we were just bench pressing at the gym, or running on the treadmill for example. In our WODs our coaches are pushing us to get PBs in our lifts, try doing a pullup without a band, or stack on an extra kilogram or two onto our lifts.


So, why not start the new year with some specific goals in mind to help you achieve your goals this year! I sat down with Benjamin (Ben) Lustig, Owner and Head Coach at CrossFit Moreland to chat about goal setting and keeping New Year resolutions.




Ben, can you tell me a little about your qualifications, background and your current position as Owner of CrossFit Moreland?

I was one of the first CrossFit coaches in Australia, traveling to California in early 2008 and coaching at two of the original Australian CrossFit Affiliates thereafter (Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne and CrossFit Victoria).


With my background and qualifications as a health professional, I typically work with beginner to elite athletes in treating acute and chronic pain, implementing injury prevention strategies and developing top performance.


I also work with high-level Olympic weightlifters and elite level CrossFitters to better their game.


(His credentials include; BHs. Clin. Myo., IRMA, AWF (L-2), ASCA (L-1), CF (L-1), CF KIDS, Ex. Prof. (3-4), F. Aus (Spec.) Rehab Spec. Member of the Australian Weightlifting Federation. Member of the Victorian Weightlifting Association. Member of Fitness Australia).




At the start of the year, have you found that class attendance has increased? (ie. New Year Resolutions = New members/existing members attending more).

Yes definitely class sizes and attendance has increased as people fight off all that Xmas pudding and New Year celebrations :)


As Head Coach, how do you go about planning WODs and programming for the year considering the CrossFit Games, your own Box’s goals and individual goals?

We have a generalised program for the main classes which everyone completes, this includes a strength component, main WOD, mobility and assistance exercises to finish.


Programming wise, each month is broken into a 4 week cycle with a structured strength program and WOD’s tied in amongst it. Test days are then held at the end of each month for members to check their progress.


We also have individualised programming for those looking to better the Olympic Lifts and compete within either weightlifting and/or CrossFit, which allows us to modify the typical 4 week cycle to account for upcoming competitions and events (including the CrossFit Open, local competitions and more).




How important do you think goal setting is when it comes to CrossFit & fitness in general?

Goal setting is important in so much as it provides you with motivation, inspiration and a clear picture of where you want to be in future. If you don’t know where you want to be in a few weeks or months time typically your motivation will wane and you’ll end up just “going through the motions”.


How would you recommend a CrossFitter set health & fitness goals for the year?

Through experience we have found that breaking your yearly goals into smaller monthly goals provides greater motivation as you see them being ticked off sooner.


There are three steps to create great goals:


1. Know where you currently are

The first step is to know where you currently are. I cannot overstate the importance of this.


Whatever modality you want to improve, be it gymnastics and an increase in unbroken Toes To Bar, Weightlifting and an increase in your 1RM Clean & Jerk, or any modality found within CrossFit, knowing your current numbers is key in developing realistic and attainable goals both in the short and long term.


For example, if your goal is to do 5 reps at 200kg’s on the back squat, then you must know what you can do right now.


This may seem obvious, yet the amount of people I speak with who don’t know what their current numbers amazes me.


Knowing where you currently are will provide you with a benchmark in which you can then develop a timeframe for attaining your goal, judge the progress of your plan and find out whether you are on track.


2. Make A Plan

Sit down and write out each training session, make a plan. If you do not know how to do this then arrange a session with someone who does. For each modality, complete a session with a specialist within the field you are looking to improve and have an assessment and individualised program written for you – we do these every day.


Make a plan or your setting yourself up for failure.


3. Get It Done

Come rain, hail or shine get up and get it done – consistency is key to attaining your goals, both in the short and long term whatever your health and fitness endeavours may be. Adding in ways of keeping yourself accountable is also important so you stay the course.




What kind of goals and resolutions do you find CrossFitter’s traditionally set?

Many of the goals we see are weightlifting and CrossFit specific, however there are always weight loss goals and goals centred around generating a more positive mindset. The other most common goal we see is competition based with many people wanting to go to Regionals and the Games.


What kind of tactics do you use to motivate and encourage members to reach their goals?

We have our members set their goals at the start of each month, with a test day scheduled for the end of each month (this is known as “Benchmarks & BBQ’s” at our box). Its an incredible atmosphere to be a part of!


Furthermore, members can get individualised programs to help achieve their goals, private coaching sessions to check their progress and more.


CrossFit Mini-Clinics are also a big focus for us as are designed for members to learn some of the more challenging movements found within CrossFit and are typically on peoples list of goals to tick off.


This along with all the other events we have throughout the month, from joint WOD’s with other boxes, specialist seminars and more – there are a myriad of ways in which to motivate members to persist.


What three things would you recommend a CrossFitter do to try and stay on track of their goals this year? (eg. Mobile app, notepad, chat to coach etc)

1. Have a Coach/professional write a personalised program for you.


2. Track your progress – write down your results from each training session you complete, this can be done on your mobile using a WOD tracking app, on a notepad, wherever works best for you.


3. Have ongoing check-in sessions with your coach – this will provide you with ongoing support and keep you accountable


Any last words Ben?


1. Know where you currently are.

2. Make a plan.

3. Get it done – consistency and persistence is key.


Good luck everyone in all your health and fitness endeavours for 2017! For more information on goal setting and performance feel free to get in touch with us. We will be running a members only event in the coming months: CrossFit Moreland Mini-Clinic – “From Beginner to Elite – How To Get Better at CrossFit Every Single Day”.

*Study source:


(Photo Credit goes to Grant Hawkins: CrossFit Moreland photo & Muscle Up photo, and Dave Puckering)