Goal Achievement is a Process of Preparation and Progression: S.M.A.R.T. is Goal Setting 101
SPECIFIC - Start by being specific about the goals you want to achieve. Don't just say "I want to be successful", state what success actually looks like to you. There are specifics to get both accepted INTO the training (crush the PST) as well as getting THROUGH (endure selection) the most challenging training phases. What skills do you need to improve or even learn? What kind of training program are you on? If your training is not specifically addressing the requirements of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Tactical Fitness you may be wasting your time. There are standards you will have to meet in both phases - exceeding the standard IS the standard.
MEASURABLE - Assessing your abilities is critical during the preparation process. How do you stack up to others who have gone before you? One of the first steps you have to take is measure your strengths and weaknesses and that will largely drive how you train from here on out. Once you've identified the specific goals you want to achieve, make sure you are not neglecting a weakness by focusing too much on your strengths. Doing things we are not good at doing is a taste of humble pie every day until we see progress. How will you know when you've achieved your goal? What metrics will you use to track your progress? Navy PST, Ranger / SF PFT / CFT, Air Force IFT / OFT, USMC PFT / CFT / RECON Screener / MarSOC Assessment are just the first steps to get TO the training. You also need to measure many of the training / testing events of your actual selection too (longer runs, rucks, swims with fins, log PT prep, load bearing / equipment carry prep and more).
REALISTIC - Achieving a standard that is exceeding the standard takes time. Most people who fail, did not take the time to really prepare for the grind that will be the selection process and endure the long days in the grind learning the skills you need to do your job. Don't set yourself up for failure by setting a goal that is impossible to achieve because you decided to enlist immediately when you could. Just because you can enlist does not mean you should or are actually ready mentally, physically or emotionally. Ask yourself if the goal of getting TO and THROUGH Special Ops selection is realistic and achievable within the given timeframe you are currently considering.
(This takes time to build...)
TIMELINE - Finally, instead of setting a timeline for your goals, how about you set a performance starting line. The timeline should be tied into your performance 100%. If you have been training hard and achieving all of the competitive scores (above the standards) and feel good with other skills in the water, longer runs / rucks, and other load bearing activities, you maybe ready to go. Setting a timeline will help keep you motivated, build some discipline with training but let your performance drive your timeline.
If you want help, that’s what I do…. Check out these resources that have helped spec ops candidates succeed where others have failed for the last 20+ years!
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Who is Stew Smith CSCS? Coach, Trainer, Writer, Podcaster: I'm the former Navy SEAL that tactical candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession. See More at StewSmithFitness.com
Where to Find More Information About Optimal Performance Training Programs
When you start training again, consider the seasonal tactical fitness model. I call it A WAY to train and obviously not the only way to train. But it offers the opportunity to never neglect your weaknesses, helps with flexibility and mobility, but will also put you at a level of physical abilities where you are happy with your overall ability to do just about anything. We have a system where the seasons dictate our training. When it is nicer outside, we tend to run and do more calisthenics. When it is colder and not so nice, we lift more, run less, and still maintain our outdoor activities with shorter runs and rucks. Check it out: Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System.
These Seasonal Tactical Fitness BLOCK Periodization programs will walk you through 4 x 4 weeks cycles with 16 weeks of each season in two programs. (32 total weeks)
Increase Strength & Crush the PST / PAST
3 Weeks Strength - 1 Week PT / Cardio Focus
These programs will walk you through 4 cycles with 12 weeks of each season in two programs.
Army / Air Force Advanced Fitness / Special Ops
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