I saw a post the other day about the GB rowing team that won gold at the Sydney Olympics. It was saying that every time they wanted to do something off plan or go out drinking or eat food that wasn’t right during the run up to the games they would ask themselves;
“Will it make the boat go faster?”
If not, then they would remove themselves from the situation.
Of course, this is a little extreme (they are Olympians, it necessary for them!) but I am applying a similar question to my own life at the moment. Having set myself some targets for the year in fitness, business and personal life I am very focused on achieving them all. Life however, has a tendency to throw curve balls at you. Lets face it, life doesn’t care that you have stuff to do or goals to hit. While some of these curve balls need attention, often they are minor distractions (that are probably quite fun!) that need less attention than we allow them to have.
Rather than “will it make the boat faster?” I am asking myself “will that make you fitter?” when these distractions come around.
I am 16 weeks out from my biggest race this year and 9 weeks away from my first standard distance triathlon with an open water swim. So it is getting to the time where there is less room for error. This is the sort of time people often find challenging with big events, because as the commitment starts to loom closer there is often an element of compromise between the thing you are working on and the rest of the stuff in your life.
For me, training will need to be a priority, late nights will need to be less frequent and my food needs to be on point. Is this 100% necessary to complete the race? Well it depends, for me, yes! This is a short period of time where I am compromising a little, and personally, it’s worth it. I would like to be able to race leaner, faster and stronger so little sacrifices in drinking biscuits and late nights are worth it.
No matter how focused on a goal (or 4), it is not always easy to do the hard things…
I have been working with a great coach this year who advised me to dig a little deeper when thinking about my yearly goals. Rather than just looking at WHAT I would like to achieve and WHY I have also been looking at HOW they relate to my values in life.
For example, one of my fitness goals; by the time I am 30 I will complete an Ironman140.6 race.
That feels quite far away at the moment…
While yes I can set smaller goals along the way it is far more powerful to underpin the goals with things that I view as important in life.
For example, “To use my body to do extraordinary things for as long as I can”
When you have fundamental values that support your goals it is far easier to do the work consistently. I am not just training hard because I have a race, I am training hard to be able to do extraordinary things for as long as I can.
Think about it, what are you goals and do your values & life ideals support it?