Goal Setting And Indivuality
When we are setting new personal goals and striving to achieve them, we often have an idol who motivate us and keep us going, especially when we have bad moments. This is often more evident in sport than in any other field of life. In general there is no problem with that, in fact it's even appreciable, but in some cases this can be also a trap.
Questions To Think About When Setting A Goal
When we decide on a new goal we want to achieve, it is very important that we define a realistic goal. It can be also a little futuristic or very ambitious at first, but must be designed around solid foundations and within our limitations. Even if your goals are high-flying and what you would call a 'dream', that's OK. It just means that your motivation and commitment to achieve that goal must be higher and you have to provide maximum effort – because we are talking about sport, that means training, rest, nutrition and related things.
What does a realistic goal mean in practice for us? Actually, it defines our approach and attitude to the path to achieve our goal. Can we actually achieve it? Is it maybe just our ilusionary dream or wish? Do we have enough resources to achieve our goal? Are we prepared to put in the required effort to achieve our goal? These are a few important and crucial questions which we should answer before stepping on our path. If we can't answer one of them, that may be a trap I already mentioned.
Sometimes our wish and motivation is so powerful that we are blind to some of the facts. That can happen really fast, and it can even sneak up on us. Especially in modern times, where we are loaded with tons of information and fast-paced lifestyles mentality we have to achieve our goals as fast as possible.
An Example Of Knowing Your Individuality
Let's take a look how this looks in practice with our friends James and Mary. James is a 22-year-old computer science student. His BMI is a little too high and he is a real party animal. Pool parties with college couleages and LAN parties are his weekly routines. His friend won a state fitness level bodybuilding contest and he can't get rid of female fans. While James is at pool parties, he is not really atractive to girls, so he decided to start his fitness journey and be like his bodybuilding friend.
Mary is a divorced 33-year-old, who is a successful and ambitious bussines woman with a 2-year-old daughter. She has a rich sporting history and her passion is marathon running. She wants to lower her PB from 3:04 down to 2:48.
James asked his friend for an introduction to fitness and for a training routine. They have done a few workouts together, where he learned proper form, and got advice about good, healthy nutrition. James started to workout with a huge amount of motivation and stuck to a workout program on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three weeks. Then came the big week-long LAN party which he felt he shouldn't miss. On Monday, he was so tired that he slept all day and didn't workout that day. As well as not working out, he overate during the weekend, and what he ate wasn't healthy, just sandwiches and junk food.
That week he did just two trainings and even did Friday's workout on Thursday, because Friday was his friend's birthday party. With exam season coming fast, he started to study much more. While he still wanted to do workouts as well, he started to sleep less and less. Soon he fell into a bad routine of being under stress because of study, lack of sleep, partying and working out. James also quite quickly forgot for healthy nutrition in his busy routine. After 3 months with no visible results, he gave up.
Why James Failed
What led James to his unsuccessful finish? First of all, his goal was not something he was willing 'to die for'. It was simply a wish, which he thought would be nice. He was not prepared to dedicate his private time to workouts, while parties were more important. Also, his nutrition wasn't on point, and he was sleep deprived because of partying and studying. These were important factors in James's failure. In comparison, his friend's thoughts were when and how to workout, what to do to take care of his nutrition, and that fact that he needed to sacrifie some party time to provide enough time for sleep. James's lifestyle and values were very different to his friend's. Put simply, James forgot that he and his friend had different personalities with different lifestyles, and he could not just copy and paste some things from his friend's life into his own.
In comparison with James, Mary is highly motivated to achieve her new PB. She is hardworking in all aspects of life, and that's also a reason why she is successful in her bussines career. After her dauhter grew older and didn't need so much attention, she decided to run more again. This is her way to release stress and negative energy. But because her career and child demanded a lot of time during the day, her only time for run was late in the day, in the afternoon and evening.
She started slowly with an appropriate volume of mileage but as weeks went by, her volume and intensity became higher. Mary was, of course, traped in her everyday routine and focused on her new PB, and couldn't notice small changes happening to her. Bussines put an additional load on her by telling her she had to go on bussines trip to another continent for one week, meaning she couldn't train for that week. Since the bussines trip was successful, that demanded a lot of communication for another two weeks, but because of different time zones that meant her schedule and her body needed restructurng. She saw that three important weeks went by without many serious trainings, and she wanted to catch up what she lost in the final two months before her marathon.
On race day she finished the marathon with new PB at 2:58, but was 10 minutes behind her goal. Even most people would say that's a great result, but she was not satisfied. Actually, a few days after the race she got sick and had to take a forced rest. This gave her plenty of time to think about what went wrong, and this is what she found:
Not enough sleep. When Paula Redclif set women's marathon world record with 2:15:25 she slept for 14 hours a day!
Too much stress in her life. A successful business and raising a child without support because of divorce is a pretty big stress for the body. Running soon became additional stress, rather than relaxation like it was in the beginning.
Lack of time. Her bussines trip and changed schedule after her trip demanded some changes and her training schedule and body struggled to adapt to that.
Inapropriate training routine. The intensity of her workouts was to high for her fitness level, and her busy and stressful lifestyle didn't help either.
Indivuality Factors To Consider
When we sum up all mistakes from James and Mary we see they weren't aware of their individuality, their personality and their lifestyle. There are more than 6 billion people in world, and we all are different. When you decide to start a long or even short new journey, you have to take in account your:
All of these factors influence our success, some more than others. Even slight deviation from your goal can lead to a major difference in the final outcome. Workouts and diets between two people can be the same, but that one person studying each evening one hour more and therefore sleeping one hour less, may have a different outcome to the person who doesn't have that kind of stress to deal with. Furthermore, sooner or later you will find that progress will be different because of different recovery rates between people, as well as other factors.
Therefore, always take in account YOUR individuality, and build your goal and path around it.