In the beginning of 2016 I did something different with my life. I sat down with a pen and a piece of paper, and I started to think about my life. Like really think. Not just decorating my neatly cleaned-for-the-occasion-desktop with a piece of paper, a smart pen and a Macbook playing “Brain Food” music in the background, posting it on Instagram and bragging about how hard I always work. No. Truly, alone, no music and no distraction type thinking. I ended up making a list of goals that I wanted to achieve in the imminent year. I then hung it on the inside of my bedroom closet, so that I would look at it every morning when I had to find something to wear. That way I would constantly be reminded by the goals that I sat for myself. There was no running away from it. I had told myself that this was what I wanted to achieve – and the only things that’s left afterwards is to prove to yourself that you can walk the walk and not just talk the talk. That you can trust yourself so that when you give yourself something to achieve, you have enough willpower and determination to reach it. I think that this is character building, but what the hell do I know.
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.
– Henry Ford
One thing is to write on a piece of paper what you want to do and achieve. Another thing is to track your progress, and make sure that you’re inbound of the goals and that they are manageable and achievable. The most crushing thing ever is setting goals that are impossible to reach at your current standpoint, only then to work towards them and see you fail. Rather set them a little lower to allow you to actually reach them. The feeling of success breeds and spills over in other aspects of your life – I’m certain.
The most important thing is that the goals are your own. I’m not saying that you can’t harvest inspiration from others, but you should never discard your goals because they are small and irrelevant compared to people around you. I had a goal of bench pressing (doyouevenliftbrah) 110kg, which is nothing extraordinary. Especially not for a 86kg guy who has been training for a handful of years or so. Nevertheless, the fact that I achieved the 110kg and could celebrate that (which I did) is in my mind way better than if I had aimed at 120kg and only reached 110kg. The 120kg will come.
Click here if you want to see the thing I am talking about above. I can’t seem to find a way to incorporate it into here directly. If you know a way, please let me know.
I’ve always been good at the tracking process. I’ve done that for all of my workout sessions for the last 4 years, which is why I got stacks of small notebooks filled with workouts lying around. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever missed recording a workout. Having already narrowed in on the habit of tracking progression, I felt it was easy to keep track of other areas of my life, such as my economy. One of my goals for 2016 was to save up 45.000DKK (7000$), which meant that I had to monitor my costs a bit. Having written it down and positioned it to stare me in my face every day for 9ish months, I of course reached the goal – more specifically I reached it the 3rd of December. That was my last goal for the year, and the feeling of being able to tick the last goal off was more fulfilling and rewarding than my writing skills allows me to explain.
Most of my goals for 2016 were related to strength. Having the deadline being ultimo 2016, I had a feeling about what was achievable for me if I pushed myself throughout the remaining part of the year. I tried to avoid giving myself goals that were too easy. Reaching a goal without putting effort into it is like getting a medal for participation. It does nothing good for you.
Do you have goals that you want to achieve, or have you already achieved them? Let me know – maybe I can get some inspiraton for when I will write down my goals for 2018.
My intentions are not to have you spend too much time on each post, so I’ll end this here – but if you are interested in what I did wrong in my goal setting, I encourage you to click here and have another read about how you should set your goals so that they follow the guidelines of the SMART principle. Just because I didn’t get it right the first time doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.