Saturday, December 28, 2013

Setting a NEW Standard

Setting a goal can be a powerful process. 

But, there are times where it can be a rather deflating process, particularly when we fall short of the goal. 

I see a lot of people setting goals, and getting 65, 75, or 80% of the way toward that goal, and then feeling bad about the 35, 25, or 20% missed.

Kind of crazy when you think about it, huh?  Someone got 80% FURTHER along in a particular area important to them, but they didn't actually reach the outcome, and then they feel badly about it. 

This happened to me too. 

I set a goal to run a marathon to celebrate my 40th birthday, but ended up getting sidetracked with an injury just weeks before the big event. 

I didn't reach the goal.  I felt bad, like I had failed. 

Goals sometimes can do that.  When ALL of the emphasis is on achieving the outcome.

But then, I realized that I had started something NEW and very beneficial in my life.  For 8 months I was running 4 days per week.  The weeks before the injury I'd completed a 21 mile run, and then a 22 mile run.

What I've learned in my "failure" to achieve goals is a much more empowering approach, and that is the notion of raising my standards.  I raised my standards back in 2008 to run 4-days per week.  Each week I'd add just a tiny bit more.  Each week I'd get just a little bit better.  This became a  new standard for me, and that wasn't dependent on whether I reached my goal or not.  It's a standard I still hold today. 

Goals are important, for sure.  But in the end, it's REALLY about the standards we hold for ourselves.

What new standard would YOU like to create (or reinforce) in 2014?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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1 comment:

Chandler Stevens said...


Great attitude towards "failing" on goals. It's not about smashing every goal; it's about constant forward progress. Loved the post!