Goals.... what do they REALLY mean*

Thursday, 1 October 2015, By Andy Nice

We talk a lot about goals here at Vision and indeed they are an integral part of helping clients get to where they want to be. The first goal session is often a very powerful experience - full of emotions , sometimes tears - often fears but ending in hope and optimism for the future. At Castle Hill we, as trainers, take our own goals very seriously. I'd like to share with you my experiences of my own personal goal.   We have a board inside the front door "Your trainers' goals." To be honest when it was my turn to write up my goal I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I was new at vision and just loving my new job that I hadn't really thought about what I wanted to do in the future. After some debate and a lot of arm twisting by my colleagues it was decided that my goal would be to run the Blackmore's Half Marathon. Before the ink had even dried I was already regretting it - How could I possibly run that far - 21 KM's - that's like running to the city!! My friends and family would have laughed at the prospect of me finishing - as would my soccer team mates - despite having played for 30 odd years I was never very  fit and nearly always the first to take an enforced break (put on the subs bench!!) Anyway I thought I could do one of two things - chicken out and come up with something easier or REALLY see how powerful goal setting can be. I'm so glad I chose the latter.   So armed with a training plan (thanks Amie) the journey had begun. Basically I had to do 2 shorter runs during the week and then a longer run on Saturday morning ( that got longer and longer as the weeks progressed ) Not wanting to suffer alone we persuaded a few brave clients to sign up too and Saturday morning Run Club became our long run. Now this is where the power of a GOAL comes into play. It wasn't a choice of whether or not I was going to go for a run - it had to happen. If I was going to finish the race the training had to be done - it was as simple as that. I had a client who's goal was to lose some weight for her upcoming wedding. A not uncommon goal of course - all eyes would be on her and the photos would last forever. In our goal session she said to me -"When I wake up on my wedding day I want to know that I did everything I could" This is something that I will always remember. I wanted to know that when I stood on the start line on Sunday 20th September that I had done everything that I could to finish the race - in fact as the date got closer and the runs longer I even added a time goal - sub 2 hours.   So if it was cold, if it was raining if I was just feeling tired or unmotivated I said to myself -- if I miss todays run could I look in the mirror and say to myself that I had done everything I could - The answer of course is NO - so I went for a run. Did I enjoy the run? Sometimes after a 100 metres I was wishing I was anywhere else, sometimes it got better and I felt good ... sometimes it got worse and I felt terrible. But every single time when I finished the run I would tick it off on my chart and every single time that felt really really good. Now for full disclosure I did miss a weeks training - I had a slight injury and decided that resting for a week would be the best option - but when I woke up on race day I felt I had done as much as I could.....

 

Now I didn't actually stand on the start line thinking that I had prepared as much as possible - mainly because I was still queuing for the toilet at the allocated start time (note to new players, allow 20 mins for a trip to the portaloo) - so it was a case of just getting started and settle into the run. The race had its ups and downs of course - but running over the Harbour Bridge with the sun starting to shine was a very special moment and I managed to settle into a fairly reasonable pace. At half way I was still feeling ok and at that point I knew I was going to make it ..... and have a chance of cracking 2 hours. About 14kms the aches and pains started to appear but nothing that was going to stop me. Seeing the 1km to the finish line was amazing and I went as hard as I could - finishing in under 1 hour 55 mins. Trying to put into words that feeling of elation - joy - satisfaction would take a much better writer than myself but if you've ever played a team sport and scored an important goal - that feeling is pretty close. Its not called a goal for nothing I suppose.

 

So next time you are choosing a goal make it very date specific. That way you cannot put it off, its easy for a week to slide by here or 10 days to slip away there and before you know it you're drifting along under-achieving. If you have a birthday, wedding or holiday coming up that is ideal - you cannot procrastinate and keep putting back your target. Promise to  give yourself a reward when you get there.(don't reward yourself with food-you're not a dog!) Promise yourself that little black dress - weekend away - vintage Rolex - whatever it may be. Even better put your name down for the next event, get a training plan and get started. We have the Sun Herald Summer Starter 5km or 10km on Sunday 1st of November or if that is too soon the Sun run on the beaches is in February. When you wake up in the morning of Goal day .... or Event day and you can look your trainer in the eye ..... and more importantly look yourself in the mirror and honestly say YOU did EVERYTHING you could to reach your goal then you are already a winner. That moment you see that dream number on the scale - fit into that new suit - do 10 chin ups unassisted or cross that finish line you will know, REALLY know what Goals REALLY mean and more importantly how they REALLY feel. 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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