We all have goals and those goals are unique to only us. Our goals though, even with the best of intentions cannot thrive on their own. They need to be nurtured and cared for as does any living organism. So, how do we do this? I’m willing to bet you can go on YouTube or any social media platform and find a plethora of people willing to give you their two cents on how to create goals and see them through completion. Today, I am going to be one of those people and give you my process. In no way is this the only way or the absolute best way, but this is my approach and you can tweak my process as you see fit.
The very first thing I do is reverse engineer the process. I have a big whiteboard on my bedroom wall (it is totally progress interior design) and I write down a few goals. Where do I want to be or what is it that I want to accomplish? Developing these goals allows me to create an end game. For me, I have been putting a lot of focus into expanding my knowledge on gymnastics; mastering the movements for my own sake, creating progressions that will allow others to do the same and finally being able to facilitate that knowledge to my athletes.
Once I have determined what I want the end result to be, I need to self-reflect and ascertain where I am right now. What is my starting point. This is the hardest part, because it demands that you be as brutally honest with yourself as possible. This will ultimately be the foundation of our plan and any lack of honesty will manifest cracks in the base and expose us to failure or setbacks at some point in our journey. Let’s take an athlete whose goal is to snatch 235 by the end of the year (psttt… this is also me). This athlete has most recently hit 215 on a snatch and has only done so a handful of times. Aside from that, this athlete has also been dealing with some nagging injuries from college that have set back some of the necessary training. So, the goal is to add 20 pounds to a lift and pay attention to any movement limitations as to avoid becoming injured and disrupting the plan. On the flip side, let’s take an athlete who wants to do perform a ring muscle up by summer. This particular athlete though, does not yet have a ring dip or pull up without assistance. This is where honesty comes into the mix; we have to be realistic in our endeavors and caving into our dream like notions is only going to disappoint us in the end.
Having a clear starting point and an end game written on paper, we need to fill in the how. How are we going to get there? If an athlete wants to snatch 20 more pounds than they currently do, what are the steps and timeline that need to be adhered to? I won’t turn this into a programming lecture, but one can assume that the athlete will need to snatch more. So, what is our timeline? I have been using a 13 week timetable and each week has micro-goals that serve as checkpoints. Throughout the week I can check off the smaller items that are helping lead me to my overall bigger goal. I find this to be extremely helpful in the sense that we can see progress each week. These small victories help fuel my enthusiasm to keep trudging forward and they also serve as a form of accountability. If I fail to complete my weekly micro-goals, I will know why at the end of 13 weeks why I failed.
At the start of this post, I mentioned that goals need to be nurtured and cared for as if they are a living organism. The weekly checkpoints are just one of the tools I implement. The second, and arguably the most beneficial one, is to have a sponsor. Who else knows about your goals and who is going to be the one to help keep you on track when life happens and you’re not in the mood? Find a sponsor; this can be a significant other, a coach, your best friend or even your child. Whoever it is, explain to them what it is you want, where you are at and what needs to happen in order to get to your destination. This person should believe in what you’re doing and be given the right to get onto you about maintaining your plan.
It is easy enough to write down your goals, figure out what your starting point is and then determine how you’re going to get there, but you’re going to need help. Ask a friend, spouse, family member to support you and help keep you on your path. At the end of the 13 weeks, you can reflect back on what you did or didn’t do to accomplish your goal. I am willing to bet that if you stick to your plan, even if you don’t fully accomplish your goal, that you will be far closer to it than you ever were before. Write everything down, be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for support.
PS- If you are looking for a journal that helps outline and give you a place to do all of these things, Best Self Co. is what I have been using and have thoroughly enjoyed it.