Yesterday I attended a meeting with my fellow aerial instructors where we discussed how to proceed with attaining and staying on track with our aerial goals. As an instructor in the aerial movement arts, it can be easy to let your own progress fall to the wayside while you attend to assisting your students and everyone around you in their goal progression. You come to the gym with the intent to workout but by the time open gym is over, you realize you haven't gotten in the air or checked anything off your list you came prepared with. So how can you make efficient use of your limited time all while staying focused on your own aerial goals?
Before I dive into SMART goal planning strategies, I think it's important to touch base on setting some rules for yourself to attain your goals. First and foremost if necessary, set limitations with anyone at the gym that you are there to work out on your own goals. Or have a gym buddy (fellow instructor or significant other that can buddy-sit you for safety) that can go with you when no one else is present (from an instructor stand point this may or may not be feasible depending on your gym rules). If your only opportunities for personal work out are when others are present, then you will have to set firm limitations that you cannot answer any questions or help spot anyone while you are there on your time. This may be difficult but students and fellow instructors should understand that it is just as important for you to be able to accomplish your goals and to stay in shape for your ability to continue to lead your amazing classes.
Let's talk about SMART goals. SMART is a mnemonic acronym utilized as a means to guide towards an objective (Wikipedia). The letters of SMART broken down stand for the following:
In relation to setting aerial goals, first start by listing the desired achievements you'd like to learn or become better at in your own practice. You can further divide these goals into categories such as STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY, STAMINA, and/or CONDITIONING. Once you have divided your list into categories, plug each goal into the SMART system to develop your plan of action.
S: Specific - This is your goal and what you want to achieve.
M: Measurable - You can measure your progress by pictures or video.
A: Achievable - Is this goal within your current skill set level? Is it attainable as a short term or long term goal?
R: Relevant - Realistic? This also falls into the previous "Achievable" area as you must take in account your own physical limitations. Take into account anatomical limitations that may or may not prevent you from acquiring specific skills.
T: Time-Bound - Set a time frame that allows your goal to be trackable.
I'll be breaking down some of my aerial goals using the SMART planning curriculum in my next blog post as an example for your own goal setting initiative.