Defining Goals which are As Difficult as Possible

Scott Andrew Bird.
Yep, that's me.
We're currently scheduling a Gymchat Roundtable on the Measuring, Monitoring and Definition of Goals. We'll be talking about it in a strength-training context of course, but the same general approach applies to anything.
If you'd like to join everyone on the panel, just drop Josh a line. We'll take the first 10.

In the meantime, here's part of my own approach - the setting of new goals. Typically when tackling a new record for an existing skill (say, a deadlift number I'm looking to hit in training).

I use my existing PR as a starting point, so I have a general idea of what a good number is (for my current skill level, environment, equipment etc). Then - and this is the point where my approach differs from the advice I commonly hear - I think about lifting that amount on a perfect day. When I've slept really well, the background music 'works'; everything just feels right.

More importantly, all of the external factors on that 'perfect day' (the noise from next door, that situation that's been on my mind) seem to go in my favour. Everything lets up for a few minutes, and I pull a new PR.

My new goal? That PR. The one I just set on that imaginary perfect day. When everything just seemed to go 'right'.

In short, when I define a new goal - for lifting, or anything at all - I make sure it's almost out of reach. As difficult as possible.

That means that most of the time, I'll fail. Even when I focus, and am absolutely determined to succeed. Fail.

But on that rare occasion when I actually achieve it - when everything goes 'right' - it's an incredible feeling. A leaping in the air, shouting obscenities, running around the room feeling. A beautiful thing.

Over to you. The above approach works (and extremely well - been using it for years), and is one I'd highly recommend.

Still, I'm keen to hear what your own approach is like. Join us for the Gymchat, and leave a comment below. How do you define your own goals?

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 37) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Facebook, the Daily 'Paper'; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

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NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :

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