Is your Plan Setting you up to Reach Your Goals?
By Josh Gray
Most people have some type of health/fitness goal, whether that is to achieve a dream body, cut out certain foods, increase energy, or perform better athletically. When we create these goals (in our head, writing them downs, or making a vision board) we typically only visualize and plan the end result.
For example, if I want to have 6-pack abs, I may place a picture of someone with a 6-pack on my bathroom mirror or refrigerator, or I may write in a journal “I will have a 6 pack by whatever date”. An athletic example would be that I want to drop my 40-yard time or increase my vertical jump by next season.
Setting a goal with the end in mind is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives us a clear destination of where we want to go. The problem is that we only fantasize and think about how good we will feel once we get there, we never plan or envision what we will experience along the journey. If the path to our goal was filled with all positive experiences following a linear line upwards, all of us would reach all of our goals and there would be no point in writing this article.
But obviously that’s not the case. The path is filled with setbacks, frustrations, life and everything that comes along with it, and without any forethought or plan for dealing with these things, you will most likely be thrown off the path, and decrease your chances of reaching your goal.
Planning for the negative feelings or situations that will most likely happen, will prepare you to deal with them as they come. For example:
If you know you scheduled workouts after work, you can visualize what it would feel like when you are tired and feel like going home once you get off. Then visualize yourself going to the gym anyway because your goal is bigger than your temporary feelings. You can also visualize putting your workout clothes in your car before work and what you tell yourself during and after work so there’s no excuse why you can’t make the gym.
Since our minds can’t tell the difference between a thought and reality, you are essentially rehearsing what will happen before it actually happens. Once you go through the experience, you will find it easier than you imagined so you’ve been practicing in your head.
This may seem like a small thing but having the right perspective or mindset when pursuing a goal will increase your chances of reaching that goal. Also, having a solid plan of what will happen on good and bad days will better prepare you to handle many situations.