It’s no surprise that this time of year gets us thinking about New Year’s resolutions. We think about all the possibilities of the New Year and all the things we hope to accomplish this year that did not happen last year and how this year will for sure be different. Guess what? It can be different. It’s time to start thinking about setting long term goals that are actually attainable rather than committing to flash in the pan resolutions that fizzle right around February 3rd. Are you ready for lasting change?
“Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.” – Kenichi Ohmae
The first thing you need to do is cast your vision. Once you cast your line, you can start fishing. However, you may also want to be rowing your boat towards the water. It makes little sense to write down your goals, take mindful steps to accomplish them and then set your course for Sabotage Town. Your success is going to depend largely on the direction you decide to point your navigational beacon as well as how hard you are rowing in that direction. Part of staying the course is setting a very specific goal. Lofty, non-specific goals are the things that get us off track and lend us to rowing harder in the wrong direction or possibly in circles. Lofty goals look like this: lose weight, get better grades, lift heavier, have better relationships. They are non-specific. There is not a specific starting or ending point and really no way of telling when you are done. What is the definition of better grades? Passing Grades? All A’s? Harvard acceptance letter kind of grades? What does it mean to lose weight? Are you done after you have dropped two pounds? Lofty goals lead to discouragement and ultimately they lead to giving up.
Specific, detailed goals look like this: add a serving of vegetables to my diet at every meal, eliminate one wheat/gluten food item every week, be home for dinner with my family two nights a week, start Prep class to learn how to lift safely, stay in two Fridays a month while I get my grades up, spend one hour a day doing something meaningful with my family – with my phone off. These are specific goals that have something tangible attached to them. There is a beginning and there is an end. Get specific with your goals and you’ll find yourself rowing harder and in the right direction.
“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.” – George Lucas
Let’s put it this way, George Lucas invented Wookies. He dreamed them up, imagined their world and set them in motion – with Han Solo on the Millennium Falcon nonetheless. If you do not imagine it or you do not dream it, your goals are just sitting on scratch paper waiting to happen. A big part of goal setting is dreaming or imagining the stuff that has not yet happened. You have to begin to dream or imagine yourself at the destination of your goal. Imagine yourself succeeding despite your critics (which may include yourself). You may want to find a place or a time of day where you’re creative juices and ideas can flow. This is no easy feat considering the demands of our personal and professional lives but find a way to carve out five to ten minutes a day. Start to imagine or dream the impossible and get creative.
“If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
CrossFit isn’t only a gym or a lifestyle. Much of what CrossFit Fury (and CrossFit in general) is able to accomplish (true life changing success in fitness) is because CrossFit is a community. Truly successful people utilize the help of a community to help them realize their dreams and goals. Coaches, mentors, parents, colleagues and friends are all people who can help you identify your goals, set them in motion and hold you accountable. When we feel like giving up or giving in, we need to turn to the community of people who are for us and get a pep talk. Human contact, human interaction and human relationships are the things that keep us in the game physically, spiritually and emotionally. It is vital to our goal setting and goal achieving process to have people in our lives that are for us and interested and invested in our success. Surround yourself with a community that accomplishes this for you and you will be one step closer to your goals.
“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler
Achieving your dreams and attaining your goals is a process. No one ever lost a hundred pounds over night…and if they did, it likely did not stay off long term. Success comes from understanding that good things are going to take time. You didn’t get overweight overnight, you didn’t start out the semester with a failing grade nor did your relationship fall apart over who forgot to take out the trash…all these things took time. In the same way, repairing a relationship, losing weight and getting healthy and bringing up your grades will take time. Some of us get lucky and it requires little effort, but most of us are going to have to work at it. You will have successes and you will have setbacks, but continue to think about the big things while you are doing the small things. Be patient and try not to lose heart and above all trust the process.
Quick Reference Goal Achieving Steps:
1. Set specific goals with clear starting and ending points to stay on track.
2. Set aside time to dream and imagine. Get creative every day.
3. Build your community and find people who are invested in your success.
4. Trust the process, stay the course. Long term and staying success happens over time.