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Goals – it doesn’t have to be only one

20 February 2018 No Comment

[Koishikawa Kourakuen 小石川後楽園 (Tokyo)]sawatobi 沢飛::Lit. marsh crossing. A path made of stepping stones (*tobi-ishi 飛石) placed in a shallow garden pond or stream. The stones (called sawatobi-ishi 沢飛石) serve to extend a path across the watercourse, often leading to a central island (nakajima 中島). ...


When I start a new athlete I always ask for a one month goal, a three month goal and a long term goal, one that gives them goosebumps just thinking about it. After a year or two of training we often start focusing on the long term one and neglect to focus on the steps along the way. The necessary stepping stones which will lead us to the end goal.

As we train along we often change the end goal, we set it higher as we gain more confidence by achieving the intermediate goals. The smaller goals are very often more valuable in our quest for progress, than the big one at the end of the rainbow.

It’s important to start every day with multiple goals. Simple little things, small steps. As soon as the alarm goes off get your feet onto the carpet, make that the first goal for the day. Have your clothes, whatever you’re going to be wearing, out and ready. Second goal is to be dressed. These two goals can be achieved in less than three minutes, and can set you up for the day.

Next goal can be the time you must leave the house by, you can really win on this one by beating that time. There are no penalties for leaving a few minutes early, it’s simply starting your day with a win. We’re all competitive people, we all love a win, winning becomes a habit. Running late is also a habit, I know people who are always running late. Their most common statement is I have to hurry, I’m so late. Time wasting undermines success.

Another simple thing that any athlete can achieve, regardless of talent level or sporting background, that’s start right away. How often do we see other squad members dawdle along, reluctantly getting into the pool, wasting time doing silly little things in order to be last into the pool. If your goal is to not be last, or even better, to be first in, you just have to plan your moves and be organised. Another possible win, and you haven’t even started training yet.

Weight management is an important issue for lots of athletes, making the right dietary choices at each meal is not a chore, it can be a psychologically rewarding experience. Your confidence builds a little with each right choice, it’s a positive step in the right direction.

You don’t have to race others in training to be scoring wins, just turn up for every session and do your best at everything you do. This will soon translate into better results. If we take pride in ticking off all the small goals every day of the year, you’ll soon find the bigger goals start  falling.

That big scary goal that gives you goosebumps just thinking about it is made up of all these little steps, little steps that you take every day. The big major goal is the outcome, achieving the little daily goals is the process. Get the process right and the outcome is inevitable.


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