When you think about it, training is really about setting and achieving a series of goals. Without smaller individual goals to hit along the way, training for anything would seem like one heavy, endless chore. It’s like starting a hike up a mountain: If you look up at the summit from the bottom for too long, it’ll just bum you out! But if you put one foot in front of the other and focus on getting around the next bend, the scenery, your mood, and your perspective quickly starts changing.
Doug Lewis is a big goal guy, both in his ELITEAM camps, and in his own life. Whether the goal is 150 push-ups a day, running a marathon, or making an Olympic team, Doug says the key is this: “You have to put it out there to make it real.” Read on for what Doug has to say about the importance of goals, and go dream up some goals of your own. Then write ’em down, shout ’em out, and get ’em done!
THE GOOD OF GOALS
By Doug Lewis
Without goals, you will never achieve what you are capable of.
• Point you in the right direction and set your course of action.
• Inspire you to push through the constant struggle to be the best.
• Give you a daily boost of confidence as you knock out the many short term goals that eventually lead you to your Dream Goal.
Little goals lead to bigger goals: If you had asked me at age 8 what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered; “I want to be on the US Ski team and race in the Olympics.” At that age, my path was laid out for me. It was a matter of filling in all the short term goals and steps I needed to achieve to reach my ultimate goal. I started working on those immediate short-term goals. I stumbled on my way many times, but kept re-routing my path until I eventually reached my goals. But throughout my journey, I always had my path laid out in front of me because of my goals.
Goals make smart decisions easier: Another important and empowering result of having goals is that goals give you the reason to do the right thing. Throughout your teenage years, many young athletes are pushed and pulled towards drugs, or alcohol, or being lazy, or smoking, or abusing your body. But if you have a goal that you have committed to, it gives you an easy out to all of these pressures. The instant answer becomes “NO”:
• NO, I am not going to watch TV, I have to do a leg routine.
• NO, I am not going to drink beer, as that goes against what I am trying to accomplish.
• NO, I am not going to smoke that cigarette, I need to go do four intervals at the track.
Having a greater goal not only gives you the motivation to get up every day and do the little things that lead to great things, but also gives you the reason and the confidence to say NO.