Now, I don’t profess to be an expert in this matter, this article is the result of my own personal experiences. Over the course of the last 15 years, I have struggled and fluctuated in the amount of exercise and training I have dedicated myself to. On reflection this has primarily been down to the particular challenges I happen to have set myself and when I say fluctuate, I am talking from training 6 times a week to not training at all for months on end. Some of the challenges I have completed during this time included; 3x London Marathons, 2x 3 Peaks Challenges, a Half Ironman, Climbing the highest Mountain in Italy and a 350 mile Cycle event. With one of these booked and in the diary, my focus is sharp and my dedication is relentless, however outside of such commitments, the same cannot be said, my training is sporadic and my commitment meanders at best, so what does this tell me? Set a goal…
Naturally, I am talking about physical challenges, but there is no reason why this cannot be applied to your career, without clear and concise goals, your application and enthusiasm will meander.
So here are my five top tips for achieving your goals
1. Realistic, Short-Term Goals
It seems obvious, but it's important to set the right goal over the right time frame, if your aim is too far from your ability or indeed too long away, you will get disheartened and lose interest. Equally on the flipside, too easy and too soon, it will not push you to that next level. Challenge yourself and set something that will give you that all-important sense of pride and achievement. “Stop waiting for things to happen and go make them happen”
Fail to plan, plan to fail, it’s all too easy to rush headlong into your efforts toward success, but without careful planning this can soon lead to achieving very little, very quickly and as a result you will become disillusioned and your motivation will wane. I always find it best to work backwards from your objective, establish what reaching your goal will require and from there compartmentalise each step along the way, it’s important to break it down into manageable chunks. Where possible stick to the plan, but be aware that this isn’t always going to be likely and at times you may have to deviate. But don’t let that shift your focus or alarm you, all plans will have slight eccentricities, the key is to recognise this and remain true to the task in hand. “A goal without a plan, is just a wish”
3. Stop Talking, Start Doing
I think it’s important to tell people what you are doing, I actually quite enjoy the pressure of making my aims public, that way, I know I will not back out or more importantly allow myself to fail. However, let your actions do the talking, all too often people talk a good game and have nothing to back it up, in order to be successful don’t fall into this trap, actions speak louder than words and the sooner you set to the task the better. I find it far more rewarding to play down and be unassuming of what you want to accomplish, it’s always fun to surprise people! “Action is the foundation of Success”
4. Dedicate & Commit
As with every journey, in order to reach your destination you have to start somewhere, no matter how small or slow, every step counts, (providing it’s in the right direction). When faced with a significant goal/challenge it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the enormity of what lies ahead, but that’s where your dedication and commitment kick in, provided you have enough time, almost anything can be achieved and your biggest battle will be with yourself and nothing else. The 5am alarm, the wind & rain, they are all there to test you, challenge your willpower and strength of mind. These dark, cold lonely moments of training are the difference between success and failure, this is the time to push on, maybe it’s not training, maybe it’s a tough day at work, when nothing has gone your way, these are the days that stand testament and the days that will make the difference, by the time you get to the main event if you’re not ready then, it’s too late. “Dedication and commitment are what transfer dreams into realities”
5. Visualise your Goal
The power of attraction has been a hot topic for some years now and I guess I am heading along the same lines with this, but during my recent training for the Weymouth Half Ironman I would envisage running along the seafront to the finish line and more importantly imagine just how amazing the feeling would be to complete this immense challenge. You cannot underestimate just how powerful this action is, but you have to immerse yourself in that feeling of success, this isn’t about simply thinking about reaching your goal, that’s not enough, you have to visualise and imagine exactly how that looks and feels, sometimes it helps to have a picture or a quote to help you mentally focus on your achievement. I’m a big fan of a good motivational quote and throughout this year, I particularly stuck with this one , so much so I wrote it on the palm of my hand, “You didn’t come this far, to only come this far” all part of the mental mind games.
Thank you for taking the time out to read this article, I hope you found it insightful…