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Big Goals, Clear Goals, and Daily Wins
Today I want to take a closer look at goals. Goals can and should be the driving force of your daily and weekly activities. If chosen wisely, your goals are a reflection of your personal values and purpose. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before making any goals:
• What’s important to you?
• What do you value?
• What rules do you want to follow?
• What’s your purpose?
• How do you want to leave the world a little better than you found it?
• How do you want to be remembered?
It’s important that you understand the answer to these questions. If you make a goal without taking these questions into consideration, there will be no substance to the goal. A goal without substance is doomed to fail. Let me explain!
Let’s pretend that you want to medal at the 2020 Olympics in the sport of weightlifting. That’s great but why? How is that important to you? How does it align with your values? What’s your purpose? There is a lot to consider.
So why is it important to know these answers? Here’s the thing that you are not considering. There is a lot of work that will be required to reach this fantastic goal. You will be required to train about 3800 hours over the next four years. You will be asked to skip parties. Your diet will need to be perfect. No one is going to do what’s required unless the goal is grounded in something that matches the athlete’s values and purpose. There has to be something bigger attached to the goal.
How big is too big for a goal? I don’t think that there is a goal that is too big, but there will need to be smaller, more measurable, and clearer goals that are focused on during the weekly and monthly grind. If the Olympics are your goal, that goal is really hard to measure for the day in and day out work. There is not specific number that you can attach to that goal until you are closer to the moment. Plus there are a lot of smaller and more measurable goals along the way that will also need to be reached like:
• Medal at Nationals
• Gold Medal at Nationals
• Qualify for a World Championships
• American Record Snatch
• American Record Clean & Jerk
• American Record Total
Some of these goals are a little easier to grasp than making the Olympics, but all of them will bring you closer to your ultimate goal of the Olympics. It’s easier to put numbers on these goals, and now these goals are measureable. These goals are now clear.
Ex. Instead of Make the Olympics you could start with “Medal at Nationals”. You could look at what Medaled last year and look at the most recent results in your weight class. After some easy research on USA Weightlifting’s website, you could easily come up with that number.
Now that you have a clear and measurable goal, you will need to establish some daily focuses to establish daily wins. You can’t just focus on a number in your daily workouts. That approach will drive you crazy. We all know that improvement isn’t linear. There is a process that we will all have to go through to reach the bigger numbers. The key is not letting the process drive you crazy.
Here are some daily focuses or wins:
• Start and First pull
• Aggressive Second Pull
• Timing between second and third pull
• Meeting the bar during the third pull
• Catch position
• Movement of feet
• Long arms with elbows out
These are just a few daily focuses that an athlete can have. You will want to establish one focus for the day, and that becomes your main focus on that day. Here’s the thing. Your goal is to be present in the moment. You don’t want your brain wandering to the past or the future. Those thoughts are of no value for the daily workout.
Example- Aggressive movement of feet from hip width to shoulder width landing on the entire foot.
During that session, the movement of my feet is the main focus. Each lift I am focused on making my foot movement more and more perfect. I am not as concerned with the weight on the bar. I am more engaged on the process. That doesn’t mean that I am not adding weight to the bar. If I am feeling good, I am definitely adding weight to the bar. However the weight on the bar is secondary to the movement of my feet. I can control the movement of my feet. I can’t always control the weight on the bar.
How much weight that you can lift for a daily max relies on factors that are out of the control of the athlete. Is your endocrine system primed for a max session? Are you recovered? Is your brain ready for that next step? The answer for all three of these questions is “maybe and maybe not”. However nothing can prevent you from improving the movement of your feet.
Here’s what I am saying in a simplified versions:
1. All goals should be wrapped up in your values and purpose.
2. These goals can be as large as you can dream. Ex. Olympics
3. However the focus is on the smaller, more measurable, and clearer goals that will lead you to the big goals. Ex. Medal at Nationals
4. The Daily Grind is wrapped around Daily Wins that are measureable and achievable. Ex. Movement of Feet
This approach will keep you mentally healthy and focused on the process. Daily wins and a process approach will have you taking steps towards the bigger goals on a daily basis. This approach will keep your goals grounded on your values and purpose leading to a more fulfilled life. If you want to dream big, you have to plan even bigger.
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