For the last 2 years I have been chasing a goal. For me that goal was to complete a half-ironman (70.3) triathlon in under 4:30. When I initially set the goal I thought it would be something that I would achieve quite quickly. This wasn’t the case. What I thought would be a 6 to 12 month process turned out to be 2 years in the making. During those 2 years I came close. Too close sometimes and every time that I thought I was going to do it only to fail I had to deal with the repercussions of my failure. On January 31 I was able to finally achieve my goal and as I said it took me a lot longer than I expected. But I will tell you what. Coming close to something so many times meant that when I actually got their it was even more satisfying. But that was my goal and to be honest, there are probably a number of you reading this wondering why you are reading a post about my triathlon results. Well that is simple. I learned over the last 2 years the positive and negative ways to deal with goal setting and I believe there are things which can be applied to any goal you set yourself, whatever it is.
Now don’t think this is a post where I tell you all about setting SMART goals or anything like that. Even if I did tell you that most people don’t really know why they set themselves a goal it just kind of happens. So here are some of my tips for working towards your goal.
Stop Being Precious
I’m going to get in your face a little bit right at the start. Your goal is exactly that, YOUR goal. Don’t expect other people to be as interested in it as you are. You are the person who is going to have to do the work to achieve the goal so do not be offended when people tell you they are not interested or if they don’t think that you will be able to do. You alone know what you are and are not capable of. If people don’t think you will be able to achieve your goal, do not be demoralised or unmotivated by it. Instead use it as fuel so that when you reach your goal you can really rub it in their faces if you want.
Time is a Factor
Depending on what your goal is you are more than likely not giving yourself enough time to achieve it. Or alternatively you are a pessimist who has given yourself so much time that you reach your goal a lot faster than expected. Either way, the time frame you set is an important part of achieving your goal it does not matter if it takes a little longer than you had planned. Remember that the things worth working for often take time otherwise the reward would not be worth it. Again, like with other people’s opinions, do not be disheartened if it takes you a little longer than you expected.
Ask For Help
There is nothing wrong with turning to people more experienced than you are for help. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner in the gym or a world champion athlete. There will always be someone else who knows something that you don’t. For me, signing up with a coach was critical to my eventual success but for your gaol it might be hiring a personal trainer or a life coach or if you already have one and you are not feeling like you are heading in the right direction, maybe it is time for a change. Remember that even with all the help in the world, you are still the person that has to do the work.
Enjoy the Journey
While it isn’t always going to be fun and sometimes you will probably hate it, appreciate the process. It is amazing how easy it is to get caught up in something and not realise the incredible things you are doing. If you are aiming to lose 25 kg you might be frustrated because you have hit a plateau at 15kg. While you can focus on what you haven’t achieved instead take a moment to realise that you have lost 15kg! The journey is where the real change happens and if you can learn to appreciate it you will have a better time.
Ultimately working towards your goals can be a very personal experience and if you are like me it can be intimidating to tell other people what you are trying to achieve. But trust me when I say the feeling of reaching your goal is worth the effort and sacrifice you put into it. For me, I have spent 2 years chasing one of my goals and I do not care if it takes me 4 years to reach my next one. I know that by working towards my goals I will constantly be improving regardless if I reach the goal or not.
Tim is completing a law degree in Sydney at the University of New South Wales and work as a PT focusing on weight loss and triathlon coach. He is a member of MaccaX Triathlon Team and truly believes that triathlon is the greatest sport on earth. Read more about his adventures on www.oztriathlete.com