by Ryan Burgess
If you were to ask family, friends, co-workers, even random strangers “Do you want to be ‘better’?”, how do you think they would respond? The majority would most likely say yes. If you were to follow that up, however, with “what does ‘better’” mean?” and “how will you get there”, it would be much harder to get a clear answer. Many people like to set goals, but unfortunately few follow all the way through. The good news though is that in both in my personal and professional experiences I’ve seen many individuals reach heights they never even imagined. Due to these experiences, I decided to write an article highlighting the best ways you can go about achieving whatever it is you desire!
- Set S.M.A.R.T goals
Don’t forget to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive. Instead of saying, ‘I want to lose weight’, a better way to go about it would be stating “I want to lose 10 lbs over the next 2 months. I will accomplish this by exercising 5 times per week for at least 30 minutes and reduce my snacking after 8 pm.”
- Write it down
Something about writing down goals, dreams, ideas, whatever it is, makes it more real. Write down your goal, being as specific as possible. Try to avoid ambiguous terms like “try to get better.” What does the word “try” mean to you? As Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” What does “better” mean? This written information should be visible to you daily. Put it at your desk, on the refrigerator, in your car, or somewhere else you can see it and be reminded.
- Make it public
You are more willing to stick to goals when you have a sense of accountability to someone else or a group of people. Create a supporting social network that not only knows of your intention to change your behavior, but is willing to help you. One of the best things I could have ever done in regards to losing my playing weight was make my intentions known during one of our winter staff meetings- it forced me to get serious, because I didn’t want to let my word lose its value. Get a partner who is working towards the same goals, make a bet, design rewards for attaining your goals, and have fun with it!
One of the biggest challenges when striving for greatness is staying positive. Understand that there will be plenty of individuals trying to fill you with negativity and attempt to bring you down. Achieving something is hard work- if it was easy, everybody would be great. To defeat this, you simply have to believe with every fiber of your being that you will achieve whatever it is you want to. My high school football team during my junior year was predicted to finish second to last in the division. We didn’t listen to the predictions, believed in ourselves, and eventually went on to win 11 games, a division title, and a state title. When it came to playing football in college, I literally wasn’t recruited by ANYONE. Yet I filled myself with the belief that I had more football in me, and was able to walk-on and enjoy a successful career at Colorado State, a Division I school.
- Don’t get discouraged with setbacks
You will have challenges. You will have setbacks. When I first got to CSU and tried out for the football team, they told me there simply wasn’t room for another offensive lineman. I regrouped, committed myself even more, and came back faster and stronger for the spring tryouts so that they absolutely couldn’t pass me by. When it comes to your health & fitness goals, don’t get discouraged when you come along a bump in the road. Whatever the set back may be, just regroup, remember why you set out to achieve what you desire in the first place, and push forward!
- Commit yourself to the path, and Embrace/Become your goal
“Act As If.” Carry yourself as if you’ve already achieved what it is you want. Make every action you do from sun up to sun down conducive to reaching whatever it is you want. If you hit a bump in the road, step back, and ask yourself this question: “Is the immediate gratification of straying from the path to success more important to me than the achievement of my long term goal?” You should quickly be able to answer that question with an emphatic No, and continue on your journey to greatness!
Ryan is a Strength & Conditioning Coach and the Director of Football development at Fitness Quest 10. He enjoys working with and training people from all walks of life and lives to motivate, educate, and inspire people to work hard, persevere, follow their heart and pursue their dreams. He believes firmly in the quote “Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart is in it, and live the phrase ‘the sky’s the limit’”.