Goal setting is an individual pursuit. You may be chasing a two times bodyweight back squat while your friend is working towards running a half marathon. There is no right or wrong to goal setting. What motivates one person to wake up early and get to the gym may do nothing for someone else. When it comes to setting goals it’s all about individuality and choosing something that interests and motivates you. What’s right for you may be wrong for me or rather simply not interesting enough for me to stick with it.
While goal setting is individual it is also a powerful universal tool to motivate and focus someones training. It gives you something to strive towards as you improve yourself. Without some tangible goals to work towards many people get side tracked. They loose their desire for an activity and find it difficult to focus their training. Having some specific benchmarks in mind as you train helps to keep you practicing, improving and continuing to show up.
You may be a specialist training to compete in a sport. Every week you think about your skill set and how it stacks up with your competition. That motivates you to get to the gym, get better and do the work necessary to excel at competitions. Maybe your friend doesn’t want to compete but rather enjoys the idea of being skilled at many different activities. They aren’t motivated by competitors or preparing for competition but they are motivated to improve. They have a wide variety of interests and skills that they want to develop. The goal of getting better across the board is the challenge and that motivates them to keep training. Two different approaches to goal setting but both equally valuable.
As we move towards our goals we often reassess them. Is this still something that I really want? Is this worth the effort? Do I want to push the goal post further back now that I have achieved what I set out to or would I like to maintain this and add some new goals?
For some people “Good, is never good enough.” Most athletes are hyper focused on building one skill set and improving it as much as they can, but what about a generalist? Someone who trains to be well rounded must set different goals (benchmarks) for their performance if they really want to develop a wide array of skills. After all, a generalist is suppose to be as the name denotes, someone generally skilled.
My deadlift numbers aren’t going to strike fear in the hearts of competitive powerlifters, although I can train in a room of weightlifters and not stand out as a newbie. My handstand skills aren’t getting me an audition for Cirque Du Soliel any time soon. Although I have practicing hand balancing in a room full of circus performers without looking out of place from the highly skilled performers. You see for a generalist the ideas isn’t to be master of a craft but rather “good” at many. So when is good, good enough? Good is good enough when good is how you can perform almost everything.
So now you probably want to know how do you train to be a generalist and get good at so many things? Ahhh….yes that is a great question. You will have to check out my next blog for the answer.