Many people have been asking me about goal setting and how to about achieving them. They feel a lack of motivation or are confused about where to start, and as a result end up frustrated and quitting before they ever really begin their journey.
Here are my thoughts. Whether they are physical and/or mental challenges, they have to matter enough to you to stay motivated. The most common excuses I hear are “I don’t have time right now”, “I’ll start that tomorrow” or “Someday I’m hoping to…”.
Reality check is that you are afraid of the potential that you could possibly hold inside you to achieve these ‘what may seem like crazy outlandish’ thoughts you have placed in front of you. The truth is, yes they are crazy and outlandish thoughts until you decide to make them goals. Until you make them a reality, you will never achieve them. ‘Someday’ does not appear on a calendar. Stop setting your goal line in fiction and make it a reality. That is the first step.
Here’s what needs to happen if you really want to succeed and breakthrough this imaginary wall you have created for yourself.
Firstly, pick your Top 5 Goals. I call this your “Top 5 in 5“. Meaning you pick the Top 5 things you want to accomplish, no matter how far-fetched they may seem and you give yourself 5 weeks, months, years to achieve them in. (ex. I want to learn to ride a bike, run my first 10k, learn to swim, run a half-marathon, and complete an Ironman!
Many of us lack mental focus in training because we are unclear about our goals. If you don’t have a goal, how can you train towards something? You will always be lost in that frustrated abyss otherwise. So in the Top 5 Goals, be as specific as possible. The more you know about what you want to achieve, the better armed you are in motivating yourself to do it.
DO NOT make your goal about losing weight or fitting into a certain size. These are by-products of good goal setting. For example, if I choose the goal of being able to Back Squat 200lbs, my practice in working towards achieving this goal will bring about change in my body and mind. If I stick to my plan I will no doubt end up looking and feeling better overall. My physical appearance will reflect the demands that place upon my body. The goal of wanting ‘toned’ legs is too vague. The goal of back squatting 200lbs will give you an ass you can break a coconut off of as a bi-product. Put your mental game into more tangible goals and you and your physical state will reap the rewards.
Once you have chosen your goals you need to build a ladder towards them. You can achieve this by woking backwards from your deadline. Give yourself a date for which to want to accomplish your goal. One goal at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to reach all your goals at the same time. Just like the old saying ‘you can’t chase two rabbits at once or you will go hungry’. If this is your first time really aiming for a goal, plan things out logically. Each goal should be building towards the next and to your ultimate goal.
I choose the Top 5 in 5 method as a way of continuously motivating myself. Once I have accomplished the first goal on my list, I cross it off and work onto the next one, adding in another onto the bottom of the list. This way I am always working towards bettering myself and my game.