I recently heard a great coach and personal trainer make this comment and I can’t agree more. Its all about focus, doing what matters in terms of your goals, and avoiding the distractions. That is not to say there isn’t a time and place for “distractions,” but even those should be used to achieve your goals. Athletes, and really most people in life, that achieve the greatest success have a firm grasp on what they are trying to achieve and stay focused on the tasks at hand. It sounds pretty intense, huh? It can be but that is where those “distractions” come into play and can help recharge the central nervous system and bring excitement back into the tasks required to achieve the ultimate goal. Its all about balance and doing what you need to do, when you need to do it, to achieve your goal.
So…what is your goal?
I am a big believer in creating a SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, Time focused or have a deadline, Exciting, and Recorded) goal. Writing down your goals and telling friends or family can be such a valuable tool because it makes sure you are keeping your goal realistic (your not going to seriously tell everyone that your going to win a grand tour if your fifty years old and just started road cycling), keeps you accountable, and makes sure you have recorded your goal. I also recommend that athletes write down your goal and the smaller goals you need to achieve along the way and keep it visible. Look at it every day! When its raining out and your really not looking forward to that 2 hour ride outside, or when the alarm goes off at 3:30 in the morning (yeah, you know who you are!) so you can get that ride/run/workout in look at your goals and make sure they are still your goals. Goals can change, and that is OK. Just make sure your actions are also changing to meet your new goals and tell your coach they changed so you stay on the same page with them (you are using a coach aren’t you?!).
Following these guidelines can help you create useful goals that can keep you motivated through the hard times. Having a goal is the first step in keeping the goal the goal.