Keeping the Goal
A strength coach I follow, Dan John, has a great saying regarding goal setting.
“Keeping the goal, the goal, is the hardest goal.”
As a trainer, teacher, athlete, student, parent, husband, (that list is backwards!), etc. I found this to be spot on.
Maybe you can relate.
You get the idea for a project and set the goal of finishing it by a certain time. You get the supplies, set up the “workstation,” begin your craft. Then maybe, you get distracted, watch a YouTube video, or a PBS station show on your favorite craft, and REALLY get drawn into the project shown there and now all of a sudden you want to do THAT project more than the one you started with.
So, you do that, and now you have two projects on your plate. And, if it takes longer than a few minutes/hours, and you don’t finish it, you come back to it the next day, and look at both projects wondering which one you should tackle…
Fitness is no different.
You start wanting to feel better, so you check out services like Movement for Makers, and you begin to work on easing those aches and pains that you have. But after a short time, you think, I’d like to lose some weight too, so you cut back, or stop, working on feeling better, and start working to lose weight. But you didn’t complete the “feel better” steps, and now you don’t feel so good anymore and don’t want to move, so you’re not losing the weight you want to…
Or maybe you don’t feel strong enough… Or, you want to learn an arm balance, just because it looks cool… Or… (We could do this all day).
There’s another relevant proverb: “when trying to catch two rabbits, you will lose them both.”
Except at a very superficial level, you can’t really work two programs at the same time, unless they are intimately related. For example, getting stronger, and having better motor control. Being stronger is a component of motor control and vice versa. But most goals are often diametrically opposed to each other. For example, getting stronger and leaner is very, very hard – and for most people almost impossible.
So, the wisest course is to choose a direction (a goal), and stick with it until it’s complete, and then move on the next, and repeat this process until you’ve met all the goals you want to accomplish.
A little sideways, but relevant – from Dan John: “Be wary of getting your goal and discovering it wasn’t worth it. Proper goal-setting should include expanding your life in every quadrant. Remember, the word ‘fit’ comes from the Old Norse word ‘to knit.’ Your life is your tapestry and it should have a great picture, rich colors and a tight weave. As I used to tell my students, ‘Your life is your message!’”
Keep the goal, the goal.