Goals are important. They are hugely important when it comes to achieving anything of value:
Without a goal or set of goals in any given venture, you can’t achieve much of anything. A clearly defined goal allows a clear path to be followed and progress to be made. The challenge, I believe, is in setting a goal that scares you a little, that isn’t easy to achieve and that pulls you out of your comfort zone enough to create a change that lasts.
I also believe that the process of achieving that goal is possibly the most important part of the whole thing.
When I started at the gym I work in, I had a mighty deadlift of 140kg (about 308lbs i think) for 3 reps. I was reasonably happy there but I knew I wasn’t anywhere near what can be considered strong in deadlifting circles. I wanted more. So I set myself a target of 200kg, not sure if I could manage it or not and I gave myself a year to get it. So I broke it down to smaller steps, adjusting my programming to find what worked for me and what didn’t, worked hard and eventually got it.
Once I hit it though, it was, dare I say it, an anticlimax. No balloons, no celebrations, no high 5s from everyone in the gym. It happened and now I’ve just hit 225 on my way to 250kgs.
What I did get from training for that target number was more valuable:
The sense of achievement was minimal, but the lessons learned on what works and what doesn’t have been huge.
Knowing that bad training sessions happen once in a while but its not the end of the world and you bounce right back the next week.
Sometimes you just need to take a week off.
You can always push beyond what you think of as your limits.
That the process of achieving is often more important than the end result because the lessons learned can be used to fuel your journey towards other goals.
People often seem to get caught up in a final result, an ideal body, a perfect weight, a performance measurement or whatever but never give much thought about what it is that gets them there or, at any rate, on their way there.
Without getting too philosophical about the whole thing, learn to enjoy the training process, test your limits, take a week off from heavy lifting now and again, celebrate milestones and have some fun with it all.
Enjoy the process