Resolutions? Bah Humbug!

Resolutions?  Bah Humbug!

Jan 1, 2014

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Yes, it is that time of year when people make ‘resolutions’ that they all know they won’t keep.  In the gym, this means that us regulars have to put up with ‘newbies’ for a while that we know will only last 2-6 weeks and then will disappear.  Others will work on weight loss and use all kinds of fad products espoused by self-proclaimed TV ‘experts,’ of course the result will be additional weight.

Surprise folks, there are no easy pills for solving the big problems.  It requires work, effort, resources and goal setting.

I believe I have covered this topic every year at this time.  I, for one, do not do the New Years Resolution thing.  Setting goals that you know will fail is a recipe for failing basically everywhere.  Once you start giving up, it becomes easy to surrender.

Instead, I am a believer in setting short and long term goals, writing them down, setting a roadmap that allows me to evaluate the progress towards the goal, and noting when conditions change that require an adjustment.  Too many times do you see people that stick to a goal, or direction, knowing that disaster awaits, out of pride or ego.  As any good general knows – any strategy or tactic is good until battle is met.  The winning general is usually the one who knows how to adjust on the fly or cut losses and move on.

My personal opinion is that goals need to be set when it is time to set them, not at a time based upon a calendar.  You must plan and write them down with benchmarks, short and long term plans that can be adjusted as required.  The long term goals must be simply stated with short term goals used as mile-markers on the roadmap to accomplishment.  The planning session should also determine what happens and how to adjust if there are detours as life will, most definitely, throw a few blocks and traffic on that highway.  As much as we don’t want to admit it, no matter who or what you are, you do not have full control over your environment and conditions.

Midway through 2013, for instance, I had my accident.  The original plan was to break the 800lb squat at the World competition in August with my other goals for bench and deadlift putting me squarely in a position to win Best Lifter (top adjusted score).  Suddenly all of those goals had to change, although the long-term goal of breaking the 1000 lb squat barrier still exists.  The roadblock did not require that I walk away from my long-term goal, just that I had to make dramatic changes to my existing goals while other goals were also impacted and also required adjustment.

The next, and most important, step is to write the goals and roadmap down for any major goals.  I advocate that these goals should generally not be shared for a variety of reasons.  Unfortunately, one of those relates to those individuals who seem to take joy in stopping people from succeeding, usually because they have no drive of their own.  The other is to make sure that you do not put yourself in the position of forcing yourself through a roadblock instead of making a course adjustment.

It is important to note here that we are talking about personal goals and not business goals.  In the case of a business goal, you are talking about strategy and tactics in a team environment.  If your people do not know, or understand, the goal, then it will not be accomplished.  In these cases, the goals are normally generalized in terms of Mission and Vision with details in a planned strategy that is used to set budgets and resources.

When a goal is being realized, it is time to celebrate a little, but then set the next set of goals.  Again, the calendar should not drive this.  Why is it important?  While everyone else is waiting to set goals and resolutions, if you have already set them on your own schedule, then you are that far ahead, especially when these goals are set in terms of competition.

Happy New Year!

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