The importance of setting performance goals

By Rich

Setting goals is important — and I’m not talking about those that don’t mean anything in the great scheme of things.

I’m talking about things we need to get done, not superficial to things we may want to achieve (like finally getting those ‘six-pack’ abs).

I’m talking about long-term sustainable physical objectives that will boost your performance as well as make you feel better in general. 

Part one of setting the goal is knowing what you want to achieve. Part two is setting the road map to get there.

For example, if you want to run 10 miles but haven’t ran at all in your life, you know you’re going to have to start out with much shorter runs like a half-mile everyday (taking into account that you may need to rest for a day or so through the week) and then steadily increase your distance to something like one mile every other run until you eventually reach your goal of running 10 miles. 

Remember, it takes time and commitment to get there, and you will probably experience a few setbacks and have to adjust your road map accordingly. The secret is to not quit and give it all you’ve got everyday.

About developing that road map:

— Write down your objective (reach 10 miles in a run)

— Preparation: What stretching routine will you use before your runs?

— Equipment: Research running shoes and get a pair that are going to be comfortable and won’t cause you injury

— Lay out a schedule for how many times per week you plan to run

Once you have a path to success — your road map — it is much easier to obtain your objective. If you’re not sure how to get there because you haven’t taken the time to map out your success, then chances are good you won’t reach the objective and may become discouraged.

Keep in the back of your mind, also, that your journey won’t be easy (what’s that old expression, ‘If it was easy, everyone would be doing it?’). Such journeys never are. But just remember when you are at your most tired, your most exhausted, and you think you might be nearing failure, why you began your journey to begin with.

It will take time and commitment to get there, obviously. And you will probably experience a few setbacks and have to adjust your road map accordingly.

But if you just don’t quit and give it all you’ve got everyday, chances are real good that you will succeed.

Rich is a former U.S. Army infantryman and member of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The “Old Guard”) who responded to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, as our nation was attacked by international terrorists. He is co-founder of Survival Legion, a vet-owned company that stresses functional fitness and draws it’s uniqueness from the Roman Legions.

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