Setting and reaching your goals, part 1: Keep the goal the goal

goalpostphoto by flickr user MJMerry

The great coach Dan Johns says “The goal is to keep the goal the goal.” This simple sentence is important to think about for a second before you set out on any training program.

What do you want to accomplish? Are you trying to lose fat? Put on muscle? Are you preparing for your first half marathon? The first thing you need to remember is that prioritizing one aspect of your training for a specific goal may very well lead to small declines in other areas. And you’re going to have to be okay with that.

Say you decide you want to pack on a few pounds of muscle. Great, you know you need to lift heavy and increase your calorie intake. Hand in hand with that, you’ve got to accept that you might (probably will) put on a little bit of fat as well. If, after a few weeks your abs start disappearing so you cut back on calories, you’re going to have a lot of trouble meeting your goal.

Lots of people have a hard a time with this. Remembering that you’ve got a lifetime of goals to reach is key. Today’s goal might be bulking up a bit. When you reach that goal, set a new one – say dropping a few pounds of fat. Hit that target, and then chose another – maybe improved flexibility.

Setting attainable goals and reaching them is very motivating. No matter what you achieve, there’s always something new to strive for. Take care to not getting derailed by competing interests and you’ll never run out of goals to surpass.


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