Motivation is often hard to come by. It’s all good watching a compilation of Rocky and Ali on YouTube saying something inspirational to get you pumped for the gym, but how long does that motivation last? Do you have to watch one of those videos every time you train?
And what about The Big Picture?
How often do you sit down and really think about what you want from life?
Let me tell you that one of the most powerful things you can do is WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN! Make a note of them somewhere like a diary, notebook, iPad notes, screen saver or anywhere that you’ll see them EVERYDAY.
Reminding yourself about the bigger objective helps to avoid some of the little things that get in your way. This could be anything from not eating the cake in the office when your trying to lose some fat, not partying with your friends when you have training the next day and are trying to make it as a professional athlete or even making the time every week to do the extra work that will pay off in the future (like writing this blog Matt!!).
For those of you who work with athletes, I can talk about goal setting for a long time. I’m going to save it for another post but I will say that in order to inspire intrinsic motivation, any goals set must come from the athlete. You can’t prescribe goals and expect someone to want it as much as if they wanted it in the first place. By all means you can offer your informed opinion on how you think they should best approach their athletic development and what you think they should strive to achieve; but goals are personal and hold a lot more value if they represent something that you deeply desire.
5 years ago I decided I wanted to be an S&C coach. I made specific goals with time frames that I wanted to achieve including qualifications and a job. At times it seemed nearly impossible, I thought my MSc would never end and for a large part of it I had next to no social life.
The ultimate goal was to be established in a full time role with a national team or professional rugby club by the time I was 30. I can’t say I’m exactly where I expected to be, but I am very proud to say that I achieved it over 2 years early 🙂
Now’s the time to re-evaluate and figure out what I want next. I thought it might be even more powerful to post my goals on here and leave them open to public scrutiny! For now they are a bit vague and need some refining but here goes:
In the next 5 to 10 years:
- I want to be recognised amongst my peers as a top quality coach who positively contributes to the progression of athletic preparation in professional sport.
- I want to make more money and be comfortable later in life.
- I want to continue loving what I do and help others achieve greatness in their lives.
Once you figure out what you want and when you want it, the IMPORTANT thing to do next is plan HOW you’re going to achieve it!
- I tried to commit to writing a blog 2-3 times a week before and failed miserably, in fact the last time I wrote something was last December! So this time I’m going to be more realistic, aim for once a week and make sure of once a fortnight. Writing this is actually proving easier than I remember!
- Like anything in life, to get better at something you need to practice! Once I have sufficiently practised my writing skills, accrued those 10,000 hours 😉 and found a style that others enjoy and respond to I will be happy. At that point I plan to write a book. In fact I have an idea of a 3 book series that I would like to publish, but one step at a time.
- Once I approach 200 posts and if I have built up a decent audience by providing useful and interesting information, I will hopefully be able to charge a subscription or membership fee to the site and generate more income for my insights.
- At the moment I love coaching and always want to work directly with athletes so can’t think of any better way to stay happy than continue doing what I’m doing with regard to my main role as a physical preparation coach. I will as always strive to continue learning, improving and be the best coach I can be.
- Finally I also have a secret project which I’m not telling anyone about so there :p
So once you know what you want, plan how you’re going to get it, then go out and make it happen, EASY!!!
As a final note, I would like to add that I am not motivated by money. I wouldn’t have abandoned my Maths degree to pursue a career in strength and conditioning from scratch if I was! However I am motivated by comfort and now increasingly by peer recognition. Whilst money is not everything, I feel it is a good symbol for both of these motivations and am thus happy to write that I would like to earn more money (I’m sure most people would). I’m not yet sure of an exact figure but I’m not greedy!
p.s. Respect to those of you who got the Big L reference.