by Thom Van Vleck
Just curious if anyone else is a “goal setter”. As the new year approaches, I try to ponder the coming year. I have often set “New Years Resolutions” as many do and as many that set them also do….I break a lot of them! Here are some things I’ve learned about setting goals.
First, don’t box your self in. I try and set marks to shoot for, but I’m also not too rigid about leaving open the chance for “targets of opportunity”. In the Marine Corps we were taught that you may have an objective, but if an easy target (target of opportunity” came up, the go for it! Maybe you start out wanting to hit a big squat, but your knee flares up. Then you find the squats you’ve been working on have helped your deadlift. Go for a big deadlift and forget about the squat until the knee is better and DO NOT push the knee into a serious injury by stubbornly pushing through it. Maybe you set a goal to lose 50lbs but find 35lbs gets you were you want…..how you look and feel is more important than what the scale says.
Overall shape. My primary training goal for 2013 is to get in the best overall shape of my life. I have went from 310lbs to around 280….I am not dieting, just stopped eating junk. More protein, less carbs, fat, sugar. I want to continue this. I have no “goal” weight but I do want to lose fat, and get leaner. I have set a bottom number of 242lbs….that’s a long story…but if I can’t get lean enough at that weight I will just have to work harder! Too often in the past I have just wanted to be stronger….when being healthy first will ultimately create lasting strength.
Lifting. In the past, I have set poundage goals….This year I’m trying something different. I’m not going to worry about how much I lift, I’m going to focus on intensity. It is my goal to enter each lifting session with more intensity and not measuring success. Too often I’ve set up lifting routines that are many weeks of hitting the same lifts….this time I’m going to be flexible. I want to go into the gym excited about what I’m doing and embrace changes in my routine as a positive rather than a failure to hit lifts mapped out months earlier.
Have goals, sub-goals, and a “quota” goal. My Uncle Phil years ago managed salesmen. I asked him if he set goals for them. He said, “They call them goals, I call them quotas”. His point was he would set a hard goal that was high and probably unrealistic and make it a quota….then when they fell short he would sit down with them and look at what they achieved, not that they had failed to reach their “quota”. He felt that by reaching unrealistically high they would achieve more than had they set “too easy” goals….because he found when most hit their goals….they QUIT TRYING. He also like to set up sub goals that were rewarded along the way. He often rewarded his salesmen out of his own pocket when they reached sub goals. Reward yourself as you hit goals and make yourself into “Pavlov’s Dog”! They you will salivate at the thought of being successful.
I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, these are just some lessons I have learned over the years. I am looking for a big year in 2013! I want to be leaner, stronger, lift bigger weights, throw farther in the highland games….and if I end up a little “sexier” (by the way, the photo above was Al’s doing!!!!) all the better!