Once the majority of people get past the mind splitting hangover of New Years celebrations, they take a moment to look ahead to the upcoming year and what they want to achieve. Some like to post on social media whereas some, like myself, keep it to themselves or a close group of people around them. For me, this is my coach and mental coach. However you like to share your goals, there is one thing that’s certain; having goals is a very important part of reaching your potential. Now we're into February, its more important than ever to keep those goals in mind and not give up on the promises you made yourself on January first.
Before I continue writing, for those of you who aren’t aware, I am a Neat Nutrition brand ambassador. Their kick ass products are the building blocks I use to help me reach my goals. I am a professional British ski racer and my life revolves highly around setting goals and striving to achieve them. Without these constant goals, I wouldn’t be where I am now and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten any better than I am now! As I get older and develop as a skier, things get a million times harder – which sounds a lot like adult life! Goals help obtain things that you didn’t believe you could.
(British Ski Racer, Charlie Raposo)
Regardless of whether you are a professional skier, actor, doctor, an office worker, or anything in between, setting goals is part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it teach you to work to achieve something you want, but one of the ultimate satisfactions as a human is to work hard for something and get to where you want to be. I have been goal setting from the age of 13 as a ski racer, and now at the age of 20, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of the best way to set my goals and achieve them. This is, of course, my perspective of goals and everyone is different.
It is very easy at the beginning of a year to set a big goal, and with a big goal comes a big time frame. Shooting for the stars is never a bad thing. I believe that dreaming big is a crucial part of success in this world, but with a Hail Mary style goal, it is very easy to end up on a stray path and wind up nowhere near your goal.
I find that once I shoot for the stars, it is important to set stepping stones to reach this higher goal. I break it down into short term, medium term, and long-term goals. If you set a goal in January 2016, and you want to achieve it in one year, then you should have short-term goals within 2 months of your starting day. Medium term would be within six months. Long term would be your end date, and also looking beyond that at how you may maintain that goal you achieved.
My time frame is a little different when it comes to setting goals for ski racing because things take longer than say, gaining 3 kilos of muscle. My short term is a full winter season, my medium term is anywhere from 2-4 years. Right now my medium term is the 2018 Olympics. My long term is pretty much the duration of my career.
(Charlie at Vail Beaver Creek World Championships 2015. Photo by gepa pictures)
My short-term goals might consist of some smaller things, such as what I’d like to lower my world rank to. For example, I am currently around 130th in the world (all ages) for Giant Slalom, and I would like to end this winter in the top 100. My medium term goals which take me to the Olympics, may consist of the position I want to be in going into the competition. Competing for a medal in my first games at 22 is unlikely, but I certainly want to be competing with the guys who I will be racing with frequently in the World Cup top 30 rank. And last but not least, my long term consists of my high goals and where I want to be at the peak of my career, which is at the top of the sport.
The most important thing to do once your goals have been set is to monitor them. You should be constantly referring back to your goals and while doing so, having an honest reflection of the actions you are taking to reach those goals. At the end of the day, chances are you are setting these goals for yourself, so if you fail to do them it is YOU that you are letting down. Don’t be your own worst enemy. The harder you are on yourself the more likely you are to succeed. Although it’s important to celebrate your achievements when you reach those short and mid-term goals as well as when you hit the highs of your long term goals.
I have a feeling that most of the people reading this are interested in health and fitness. For those of you who are looking to make physical changes in the upcoming year, set goals and set stepping stones. It is all part of the process to help you make the changes you want. Get the help and advice you need – seek out those who can help guide you.
If there is one thing you can take away from this post, believe me when I say that the feeling of reaching a goal you set yourself, is among the biggest satisfactions you can have.