Success is a Journey
Goals are easy to make, it's what you do to achieve those goals that determine whether or not you succeed. Too often athletes and coaches set ambitious goals without a plan. Long-term goals, such as winning a championship, getting faster, gaining 20 lbs, are great for motivation, but not much else if you don't have a plan. The key is focusing on the present and setting specific daily and short-term goals that will help you progressively reach your ultimate goal.
The first step is the easy part, setting a long-term or "ultimate" goal(s). Make sure these goals are realistic in regards to ability, time and motivation. These goals must be methodically thought out. Don't set goals that are genetically impossible to achieve. It's one thing to aim high, but if you're 5'9", 160 lbs and your goal is to be 6'2", 220 lbs, you might need to be a little more realistic. Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of time you will be able to commit. If you're a full time student with a part-time job, chances are you won't have the time or energy to workout twice a day. And finally make sure these goals are important to you. The last thing you want to do is invest time, money and effort into something that you don't care about. All of these factors should be thoroughly thought out when establishing your goals.
Once you've established your goals, the next step is figuring out how you are going to achieve them: your plan. This is usually done by setting a series of smaller or short-term goals. It can and should be taken a step further by setting daily goals as well. Your plan can be as simple as a series of checklists or as complex as a periodized workout program.
Regardless of how you design your plan, it must include long-term, short-term and daily goals. For example, your long-term goal is to gain 10 pounds in ten weeks. Your short-term goal would be to gain 1 pound a week. In order to gain one pound a week your daily goal would be to increase your calorie intake by 500 calories (7 days x 500 = 3500 calories = 1 pound). This is a simplified example of how daily, short-term and long-term goals are interdependent and should be thoroughly planned.
After you've established a series of goals and a plan to achieve them, the next and final step in putting it on paper and setting dates. If you write down your goals in concrete terms, you will have a greater chance of accomplishing them. Setting due dates for each goal will help keep things in perspective and keep you on track.
If you are serious about enhancing your athletic potential, you must set individualized and specific goals. Establish a series of long-term, short-term and daily goals with a detailed plan on to go about achieving them. Setting specific goals and pursuing them in a systematic way separates those who want to meet challenges and succeed from those who actually do!