Do you have short- and long-term goals you want to achieve?
If not, perhaps this will convince you to concoct your own as I discuss why you should have both, and how to go about choosing them.
Why Long-Term Goals?
Because these take dedication, patience, and commitment to achieve. These are the hard things. And they don’t always come linearly. Sometimes we must reevaluate our approach, tweak it, even start over. And, occasionally, there are setbacks that must be managed and overcome. My current journey toward my goals have included all of that.
Once you achieve your long-term goals — once you set down the barbell after crushing your personal record or you cross the finish line — and all your effort has finally culminated into that beautiful accomplishment, you can relish in your victory. Look back at the process it took to get there and happily proclaim, “I did that,” and be proud of yourself.
There are three strength goals I’ve been chasing for quite a while, and I’m closing in on two of them. They are:
- Deadlift 225 pounds for 20 reps (got 17 last Monday)
- Deadlift 275 pounds for 8 reps (got 5 last Monday)
- Bench press my bodyweight (125 pounds) for 10 reps
I’ve been working toward these long-term goals for a couple years.
My pursuit of these long-term goals has provided another neat perk that you’ll discover too: They build mental fortitude because they’re hard. Because they demand patience and persistence, and occasionally creativity.
Here’s a tip for your long-term goals: Anticipate obstacles that must be overcome, and even potential setbacks you’ll have to manage. The harder the goal, the more likely you are to encounter challenges. Know they’ll come, and be prepared to handle them.
While long-term goals are exciting to chase, and more exciting to bring to fruition, you need short-term goals too.
Why Short-Term Goals?
It’s useful to have a goal you can achieve fairly quick; a goal you can attain on the way toward your long-term goal. These should be less intimidating and something you feel confident about being able to do.
The short-term goals give you motivation and build momentum. Once you see, “Yeah, I can do this,” you’ll want to keep going, to see what else you can achieve.
Using my goal of pulling 225 for 20 reps as an example, years ago that felt like a daunting challenge, but by breaking it down into smaller goals that would be easier and quicker to achieve, I had more confidence in the process. I first needed to pull 225 for 10 reps, then 12, then 15.
Likewise, you can’t run a 7-minute mile until you first run an 8-minute mile. Short-term goals can be viewed as mandatory steppingstones you must first reach before you can even catch a whiff of your long-term goal.
Short-term goals keep you focused and allow you to collect wins on the way to your ultimate destination.
Your goals don’t have to be performance based, or about fat loss. The individual who struggles with workout consistency, for example, can have a short-term goal of working out three times per week, and her long-term goal can be 90% adherence over the next six months.
Set goals that are important, and helpful, to you. If you can find a way to make the journey enjoyable, that’s even better. So, what short- and long-term goals will you set?
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