I am a member of a well known health club, which, due to its location, tends to include a fair few famous faces – typically footballers and cricketers but also a former undisputed super middle weight boxing champion.
He’s getting very good at tennis and has a volley with real venom.
This is because he’s decided he wants to be good at tennis and he practices.
Now, I was in the gym yesterday doing some ‘on the business’ work, reflecting on the year and working out how I can be just that bit better again next year in my business and personal life.
I do this every quarter, examining current goals and setting new ones, bite-sized markers that help me to my bigger picture. This stuff really doesn’t work that well if you just do it on December 31st after a few too many sherries.
Anyway, this former champion was preparing to go onto court as I was setting my fitness and health goals and these include swimming.
There’s no time like the present I reasoned so I headed off to buy some snazzy new swimming shorts. New gear and gadgets always motivate me.
The problem was, the only shorts available were, well…a little ‘ambitious’ size wise. They were the shorts I should be wearing AFTER I have been swimming for about a month.
Maybe 2 months.
Here was a lovely excuse to not bother with the idea and put off the fitness goal for another day. Start in January, once I’m totally ready, with the correct shorts.
But I didn’t do that. I bought the shorts and went for a swim.
They weren’t THAT bad size wise, a bit of breath holding along the poolside catwalk would see me safely under the water with nobody any the wiser.
They were however pinching a tad and I knew I was pushing it a bit.
But that’s the point with goals. They are very easy to put off, to make too easy, to vaguely promise to start working towards in January once you’ve got everything perfect.
They are also far easier to attain if you have a visual cue, whether that’s a picture on the fridge, a sales brochure of a car or a house or some shorts that make you think twice about ordering pizza this evening.
Or ever again.
So as you reflect on 2018 and plan ahead for 2019, whether your goals are business related such as getting more press coverage (call Greg) or personal such as health and fitness, don’t be afraid if they pinch a bit.
Don’t put them off either. In fact, don’t wait until you get back in January, get a head start now.
In 2019, think a little bit big bigger, be a little bit bolder.
There’s a reason they call them ‘stretch goals’ you know.