When I was a freshman in high school I decided to try out for the varsity track team. I loved running, especially sprinting. The day finally came for tryouts and towards the end one of the head coach pulled me aside and said, “I know you want to do sprints and be on varsity. But I think you should start with JV and instead of sprints try your luck at hurdles.” I was devastated. Running is running I thought. Who in their right mind would want to run and jump over stupid things in the middle of a track? Despite my let down, I decided to try it out. The first week of practice was a mess. I stumbled, fell and ripped my shins to shreds. Humbled, but eager to take the challenge head on, I decided to set some goals. I learned that becoming a great hurdler is an art. The goal is to clear the hurdle without losing any speed at all. Every second and every movement of the race has to be calculated. One wrong move, and the race is over. With the help of my coach I broke down each component of the race and set small measurable goals. Each day, I would practice, and slowly, but surely I improved. After 8 weeks of training, we had our first track meet and I was to compete in the 110-meter high hurdles. I was so nervous, I remembered thinking, “what if I fall,” and “what if I get beat.” After the varsity heats went, it was my turn. I stepped up to the starting line, positioned my self in the blocks and waited for the gun to go off. In what felt like a blink of an eye, the race was done. I won my JV heat out right, but didn’t think anything of it because it wasn’t varsity. But then something surreal happened. My coach ran up to me and asked with the most excited look, “Where did that come from?” Perplexed, I asked, “What do you mean?” He said with a huge smile, “You just ran the fastest 110 meter hurdle time this season in the state of Nevada! ” Let’s just say I was promoted to varsity that day.
Nearly 15 years has passed since my freshman season of track, but I have continued to use what I learned that season about goal setting to help me succeed at many other things in life.
- Set S.M.A.R.T goals
- Specific – Your goals should be specific. The more detail you can put into a goal you set for yourself the more likely it is that you will stick to it.
Weak– I want to run faster.
Strong– I want to decrease my body fat 2% and my time by 1.4 seconds in the next 2 months.
- Measurable – How will you know if you are improving towards your goals if you are not measuring them? In track there are millions of things you can measure, the most significant being time. Faster times equal progression. When it comes to weight loss or getting in shape it’s the same. Body fat %, VO2max, Flexibility, etc, all can be used as indicators of progress.
- Action Oriented – Your goal should prompt you to action immediately. Not tomorrow but NOW.
- Realistic – One of the biggest setbacks to goal setting is setting goals that are unrealistic. Your goals should be big enough to push and challenge you, but not so big that the chances of you achieving them are not possible.
Losing 10lbs in 1 month is realistic.
Losing 50lbs in 1 month is unrealistic.
- Time Sensitive –Your goals should be constrained by time. Set a date and then focus all your energy on archiving your goal in that time.
- Get scared
There is a great saying that goes, “If your goals don’t scare you a little, you are not setting big enough goals.” A worthwhile goal is going to make you uncomfortable. It will put you in positions and places you’ve never been. The key is to focus on the outcome. Visualizing or asking yourself questions such as, “How will this make me feel once I achieve this goal?” or “How will this goal make my life better?” can give you the motivation you need to push towards your goals despite any fears or obstacles that may arise.
- Enroll others in your goals
One of the things I loved about being on a track and field team was I not only had a coach, but I had teammates. Each one of them held me accountable to be better and improve each day. Get your friends and family involved. Tell your co-workers. Hire a coach or trainer. The more people you can get to support and hold you accountable towards your goals the more likely you are to achieve them.
- Be Better Everyday
At Real Results, we have a mantra we embody — Better Everyday. We believe that there are two directions people go in in life: forward or backwards. You are either getting better or worse. Each day is an opportunity to get one step closer to your goal. Baby steps are key. We have all heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, neither is anything else. When setting goals, make sure that you understand that it will take time and it will take effort. The only thing you should be concerned with is that you are making steady progress. Even if the progress is minute. Be patient, be resilient and be proactive.
So set some goals!
Decided what you want in life and then establish your game plan to get it.
You deserve it!
It’s a lifestyle –
Branden Collinsworth is one of the most sought after fitness trainers and mental performance coaches in the USA. As a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, performance coach and community leader, he works with some of the top names in sports, music, and business. Branden is currently one of the first trainers to be signed exclusively to Nike, co-owner of Real Results Fitness in Las Vegas and the founder of The Jump For Joy Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping kids live healthier lives. Collinsworth is committed to creating a new global standard for health and wellness built upon the fundamentals of mental, spiritual and physical unity.