Saturday, January 28, 2012

Goal Setting Made Easy

"Without goals, and plans to reach them, 
you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination."  

~  Fitzhugh Dodson

So the new year has come again and we are already a month into it. Every new year you hear people set new years resolutions. I think it has almost become a joke because it seems most new years resolutions do not get achieved. So why is that? Partly because people say things like "I want to lose weight". Yes, this is a great goal but not detailed enough. A person could lose 1 lb and they have achieved their goal. That is not setting the standards very high. You want a goal that in the end you will be saying to yourself "wow, that was tough but I did it".

A goal needs to be short and sweet but to the point. You need to create multiple goals, short and long to make sure you continue on your path to success. If you just create one goal and stop that would seem to me like you are at a standstill with nothing else to try to achieve in life. Life has endless possibilities and none of us are perfect which means there is always something to work on and achieve. Why not go out with a bang and take every opportunity life has to offer?

Your goal needs to be something you really want to accomplish and are willing to put in the effort to make it happen. You can't just make a goal to make it because in the end it will be pointless. What is it you dream about? Where do you want to be in your life? What direction do you want your life to go? These are all things you should be thinking about when creating your goals. If you don't guide your life in the direction you want it to go it may end up going in a totally opposite direction. Now keep in mind our life will always take us places we don't want to be, but that is part of having ups and downs. Even when you are trying to achieve a goal it will not always be easy. There will be points where things are not going well and you will feel like you are not getting any closer to where you want to be. This is the time when you have to remember that if you get knocked down off your path, you need to jump back up again and keep moving in the direction you want to go.

The reason for having short and long term goals is to create a time limit and to help keep you motivated. When you achieve a goal, you feel proud and confident. You say to yourself with a smile "I did it". Otherwise you will feel like your goal is too far away and will not even be possible and eventually you will just give up.

We need to live life in the positive, even when negative things are happening around us. This pertains to goals also. You can't have a negative goal if you want to be successful. For example, since I compete in olympic weightlifting.....if I walk up to the bar and say "I don't want to miss this lift" my goal is to not miss but my mind will hear miss lift and that is exactly what my body will do. If I walk up and say "I wanna be smooth, fast and finish this lift" my mind is hearing all the things I need to do to make that come true. Another example may be "I don't want to gain anymore weight". Your mind will hear gain weight and will end up sending you in the opposite direction you want to go. But if you say "I want to maintain my weight". Chances are a lot higher that it will happen.

Now since I have kinda explained to you the yes's and no's of goal setting. Let's start creating our goals. I will start with mine and you can create yours.

Seven Day Goal:
I want to dedicate 5 minutes each day to rehearse my visualization of my olympic lifts.

One Month Goal:
I want to be able to visualize myself doing a successful snatch and clean and jerk.

Six Month Goal:
I want to snatch 160lbs and clean and jerk 200lbs for my one rep max.

One Year Goal:
I want to qualify for the American Open in December 2012 and the National Championship in 2013 in olympic weightlifting.

Now my goal after that in olympic weightlifting is more a dream right now then a goal because I am not close enough to it to know whether it is realistic or be able to put a time frame on it. But I know just because there are many things going against me in being a successful olympic weightlifter such as having only been doing it for a little over one year, already being 30 years old, and probably not having the perfect body type. This does not mean we can't achieve the impossible. I mean the sky's the limit, right? That being said my ultimate goal in olympic weightlifting is to make it to an international competition.

Now if you take a look at my goals and how they are set up all the smaller goals are leading me to achievement of the larger goals. Now you can have different goals with different focuses but if you have too many goals you are kinda setting yourself up for failure. So I would suggest having goals in different areas but not too many in one area. For instance I have my fitness goal of olympic weightlifting. An example of having too many fitness goals would be if I wanted to compete in an international weightlifting competition and make it to the crossfit games. Chances are not very likely I would be able to do both since these are both pretty challenging goals. But you can have a fitness goal and a work goal and I don't think that would be as unrealistic and would make you successful in different areas of your life, which is a good thing.

Now why don't you tell me your goals and we will see if anything can be improved to make you more successful?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Competition Day January 2012

Let me start this off by saying I know I haven't posted anything in quite a while. I was on a roll and then I developed a case of writers block. That is what I am going to call it anyway. I actually have no good reason for not keeping up with my blog. I sat down many times to try and write but it never seemed to come out good enough or end up like I wanted it to....this has to do with the perfectionist part of me. So in the end you could say I gave up and ended up not writing anything at all. Now this was definitely not the correct direction to go because the more we continue to do something the better we get at it. If we give up that sends our direction a standstill. Probably not a good place to be.

Now moving on to my last competition which was on January 7th, 2012. It would of been much better to write this post right after the competition but I wanted to wait until I got a hold of all of my videos since they existed. Now have I learned how to control my nerves in competition yet? Not exactly but I am making improvement which is what matters the most. I tend to be a very anxious person at times and almost uncontrollable. I wish I could say that wasn't me but we have to work with who we are and kinda tweak ourselves to be better. I was very nervous at this competition. I did try hard to get myself under control but was not quite as together as my previous competition. That being said I still made tremendous improvement.

We can start off with my snatch which I am very very happy with. You could see a huge improvement in my technique during this lift. My previous competition in October I ended my snatch with 57kg (125.4lbs). This competition I ended my snatch with 62kg (136.4lbs). That is a 5kg (11lb) jump just in my snatch which is where most of my improvement was made. Still need improvement in some areas but these videos I can watch all day.

Now moving on to where I lost it a bit. You can't underestimate the very challenging part of sitting and waiting for your turn to lift. My body starts to ache. I start to feel tired. My mind starts to deteriorate. While I waited I tried repeating to myself that I could do it. Maybe I got too comfortable and my mind and body forgot I still had 3 more lifts left. Whatever the case may be those last 3 lifts were some of the hardest lifts I have done. I went out there and missed my 1st jerk. Then I was really upset kinda doubting myself. Had to get some encouragement from my great friends and teammates and get myself ready to go back out there. I had to get really fired up. When you watch the videos you will notice I had a horribly loud scream. This is what I tend to do when I am not in control. Making loud noises are great but it should be in a controlled manner. If you don't control your body it will control you. Always more things to work on. My clean and jerk seems to look as bad in the videos as they felt but I am going to continue to learn and grow from my mistakes. We fail so we can learn how to succeed. Now this probably can't even be considered a failure but if you knew how well my clean and jerks have been in practice this was not even close to my capabilities. But guess what.... practice makes perfect and I am determined to get on the big stage and when I get there I want my best to come out.

So in the end I increased my total from 136kg (299.2lbs) to 144kg (316.8lbs) which turns out to be an 8kg (17.6lbs) improvement since October. It actually makes my overall improvement 23kg (50.6lbs) since my very first olympic lifting meet on October 2010. That is a little over a year and my improvement is not just in the weight I am lifting it is in my mind as well. I am stronger, healthier, have better technique and more determined then ever to achieve my goals.