For a goal to be good, it has to be meaningful.
Take for instance my goal of trying to get and stay in shape. Do I really want to do that or is that just something that I am “supposed” to do?
I really want to do it…
Two years ago I began exercising and lost 20 pounds. However, last year I ran into problems.
Since I had started lifting weights the year before, last January I decided to just continue my program of lifting twice per week and running 3 times per week.
By March, my strength had grown to the point that I realized that if I wanted to continue growing, I had to commit to pumping some serious iron. About the same time, my 3-4 mile run had begun to seem like drudgery.
Yet, I couldn’t quit. I don’t want to get tired and fat. And while I am not afraid of getting older, I’m don’t have my eyes on a certain “walker” or a cane!
I had to get more specific about my goal. What do I mean by being “in shape”?
I’m not going to compete in the Senior Olympics. I was never a great athlete when I was young so now that I am older, forget about it!
While I did some pretty serious bodybuilding when I was 18, I realized that I didn’t really want to be “muscular”.
So What kind of shape do I want to be in?
I want to be functionally fit. I want to live with vigor and energy. I want to be strong enough to make my son work when he wrestles me. I want to be strong enough make my wife feel feminine.
And I didn’t want to spend hours doing it. I wanted it to be fun…at least a little bit!
I ended up designing a plan that I am still trying to implement. I had to break it into smaller, bite size time blocks that would make it easier to actually DO the exercises.
I started some of it right away. I added other parts as the year went on.
The amazing thing was that after that big mid-year change to my plan, I set my sights on trying to perform a certain amount of repetitions of one of my exercises. I fell 3 short of my mid-year, unwritten goal…
Except that I had written it down…
When I opened that Excel file on my computer, I saw that I had written down the same exact target as a goal at the beginning of the year! I was lifting weights at the time. I have no idea how I originally planned on getting there. I certainly didn’t plan the impasse that I have just written about.
Anyway, it highlights two points…
For a goal to have power, it must be personal. It must be meaningful. It must be something that you really want to accomplish.
Two, a goal without a practical plan on how to make it happen is just an empty dream. Write down how you plan to get there. You can change it if you need to.