So the New Year is here. What are you going to do about it?
If you are anything like me, you have a history of failed resolutions. Anything from losing weight, to learning Greek, to being a nicer person--I've failed at lots of things. I think the reason was that I went about it in the wrong way. I didn't think clearly about where I wanted to go.
Do you remember Alice in Wonderland? Alice meets the Cheshire cat, and asks for directions.
'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'If you don't have a clear idea of where you are going, you won't get there. A vague resolution is easy to make and easy to abandon, because there aren't any real metrics to know how well you are doing. Lose some weight? Ok. Eat this donut? I can have one donut, can't I? It won't bust my vague goal to lose some weight. A specific goal, on the other hand, allows you to formulate specific steps to reach it. Rather than "learn Greek" or "be nicer", I should pick something like "read Iliad Book 9 in Greek" or "volunteer at the local charity three days a month." Now that there are steps, I can do what I need to do to get there. This works in fitness, too. "Get in better shape" is so vague as to be useless. So is "Lose some weight." In addition, a performance-based goal gives you some incentive to do it, since there will be a reward at the end.
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where--' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
I suggest you make clear resolutions this year. Here are some suggestions:
- Finish the Starting Strength Linear Progression. DTFP!
- Compete in a meet at a particular weight-class.
- Add 100lbs to your conventional deadlift.
My goal is to set the Illinois record in 100% Raw Powerlifting for ages 40-44 in the 242 weight class. I've already got the record in 275lb class. I have to do this before my birthday in May. So, when I think of skipping training or eating poorly, I can think of how my goals would be affected, and I'm able to be better motivated.
I've done much better the more specific my goals are. You should give it a try.