Many of us have goals in life. Actually, we all should have goals in life. I’ve been setting goals for years. When I first started to set goals I would set small goals. For instance, In school, I would aim for a passing grade on a test. At the time it seemed like a good, measurable goal. But I was selling myself short. What I actually was trying to accomplish was pass the class and a passing test grade was only a stepping stone. I should have set a goal for a passing grade with the test grade as a milestone marker. In time, however, I learned from my mistakes. As a competitive swimmer, I didn’t set lap goals, I just set a finish time goal. In martial arts, I didn’t set a one belt goal. I fixated on the ultimate goal, a black belt.
The Army helped me set larger goals, big goals. I joined to do three years. However, after my first enlistment, I figured 20 years was a good goal. I did do 20, however, was medically retired due to injuries sustained. My first unit, a decorated war unit, unit a tradition. A 25-mile road march. Rather than set a short-term mile goal, I just told myself, I’m gonna finish. Plus miles were never announced. So trying to figure out exactly where I was seemed pointless. We did not have the technology we do today. PT was no different. Rather than set a goal to meet the minimum standard, why not achieve maximum. Set your goals high. As a private, I used to have an E-6 rank insignia pinned to the inside of my patrol cap. It reminded me of my long-term goal in the Army.
In hiking, I pre-plan my routes. When I step off on day one, I don’t set daily goals. I look at the end goal. Daily stops at the end of the day, merely benchmarks. Same when it came to climbing. I was more fixated on the top rather than route up. Each handhold or protection placed was again merely a milestone.
College for me was no different. My first year at UST I received a 7-page print out of all my required classes. After each semester, I would obtain a new audit. The pages slowly disappeared. I was set on the end goal, no teach semester. The end of each semester was just another milestone. My BS was the long-term goal, obviously.
I also find writing my goals down daily and reminding myself what I need to do is more productive than just thinking I have goals. I also found telling another people my goals(s) holds me accountable. With the right person, they are going to question your progress hopefully. Reinforcing your goal commitment.
Set goals, write them down daily and tell someone. You will be surprised at your accomplishments. And most important, don’t quit. I was once told, a black belt is a white belt that never gave up.