I am a strong believer in goal setting. I believe that if you don’t know what you want or where you want to go, chances are you will not get there. The process of setting a goal requires us to crystalize and conceptualize what we want on a subconscious level, into that which we are actively willing seek on a conscious level.
By bringing our thoughts—and feelings—to the surface, and COMMITTING to action, we set the wheels of achievement into motion. During the process of goal setting we also automatically initiate another immensely powerful tool—visualization. Powerful goals come from powerful visions, and my experience has led me to a belief that IF YOU CAN SEE IT, YOU CAN DO IT. It all starts with setting goals.
The mind, clever though it may be, does not always know the difference between what it visualizes and what it does. If you can take your goals and turn them into consistent powerful mental visions, you can effectively train your mind and body to perform challenging skills and achieve great goals. I have heard amazing stories about Vietnam P.O.W.S. who, after visualizing a round of golf each day during wartime captivity, played a perfect par game in their first month back home. Combine powerful positive visualization with consistent action, and you are destined to achieve great things in sport and in life.
At the base of your visualization and action, you must have a GOAL. The goal can be as specific as achieving a gold medal in the Olympics, or as general as exercising every day. Whatever it is, it must come from within YOU. No one else can set a goal for you, and your goals must resonate with a deep down sense of desire. Goals are not always easy to achieve, and without the internal leverage that DESIRE creates, you may have difficulty sustaining energy for the actions required to achieve your goals. You can say, "My goal is to drop two waist sizes through exercise," but if you don’t have the deep down desire to consistently get yourself off the couch and into action, forget it.
As a trainer or coach, goal setting can be an outstanding tool for building achievement into your own business and into your athletes’ programs. Firstly, by establishing clear goals and direction within yourself, you create the opportunity to project that clarity of action to your clients. Secondly, by taking time to help facilitate and assess your clients’ goals and desires, you bring meaning to your work with them, and in the mean time create the foundation for a lasting, trusting bond.
Goal Setting Progression
When you sit down with a new client, or when you’re taking time to assess your own goals, there is a simple progression that can help make sure the goals you set will lead to achievement.
Build the goal out of deep down DESIRE.
What do you really want? For the goal to last, it must emerge from deep-felt desire. If you get in touch with what you really want, setting a coinciding goal will ensue naturally.
Make the goal MEASURABLE.
Pick a goal that you can definitively measure and gauge progress. Create milestones and mini victories for yourself or your client, which will in turn build momentum toward your goal. Even if your overall goal is not definitive, it is helpful to create concrete progress points to move through.
Commit to TANGIBLE ACTION.
Make an agreement and put it on paper, which outlines your physical, day-to-day path toward achievement.
Project positive belief, and build faith through VISUALIZATION.
If the goal setting is for yourself, positive self talk, affirmative journal writing and daily visualization are great ways to begin to make your goal a reality within yourself. If this process is for a client, treat them as though they are the person the want to become. By doing this, you create an avenue for them to become that person.
Communicate constantly with your client. Listen to them and give them positive feedback about the progress of their efforts. For yourself, this is where the word PERSISTENCE comes into play. Consistent action, consistent action, consistent action. At the end of the day, achieving your desired goal will come down to the day-to-day doing. Combine consistent, passionate action, with a clear direction and positive self belief, and you create a recipe for success in whatever you do.
Conceive it—Believe it—Receive it!
I leave you today with what I call my Dream Achievement Projection Page. This is a great tool for gaining overall awareness of your own dreams, and the dreams of your clients. This page can also serve as a great reference point during the course of a season, or during specified training time period. If you take time to re-read it every few weeks, the Dream Achievement Projection Page can aid in sustaining the fire and clarity of your original fitness or athletic vision. I have also included a simple goal sheet that can get you started. Tailor it to suit your needs. Good luck and Go Big!
Project yourself into the future, to the end of this season/training time. Take a moment to envision the absolute best case scenario. Really envision it. Write a paragraph as though you have just completed the allotted time period and the coinciding events, and you’re now taking a few minutes to write down all that you have accomplished. Get yourself into a GREAT state of mind before writing this paragraph—take time to really FEEL how great it feels having achieved all that you set out for yourself. When you’re bursting with excitement and satisfaction, put your pen to the pad and write!
My ultimate fitness / athletic Dream:
What are my primary goal(s) for the next six months:
Where am I now compared to my goal:
How much time am I willing to devote toward achieving this goal:
What are some milestones and progress points I can use to measure success and progress along the way:
What is the biggest challenge I must overcome in attaining my goal:
What are the greatest strengths I bring with me in my pursuit:
Three tasks I can do daily, which will help pave my path toward total achievement: