Go for the…Something

The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games are in full swing, and despite the really lousy American television coverage, (courtesy of NBC), several great moments have already been noted. Undoubtedly there will be more to come in the next two weeks. Probably because the spirit of the Olympics has not quite vanished from view yet.

You hear the stories every Olympics. There are the favorites and the powerhouses. There are the most touching personal interest stories. There are the ones who are not expected to medal in anything, and of course don’t, but attain personal bests.

And every once in a while we are blessed with witnessing those who were not expected to do anything, but come from no where and win a medal. Even gold.

One thing is true for all Olympians; they have very specific goals. They push their bodies passed what we could ever imagine, and focus their minds to such an extent that you can almost see them thinking. All in pursuit of whatever their goal is. Gold, or just finishing while standing up.

I envy those who go to the Olympics for many reasons. But perhaps the biggest one is the goals. Nothing about being an Olympian is easy, I would gather, except for the setting of the goal.

Cross the finish line first. Record a specific speed. Have more points than the other team before the clock runs out. Each event has its own specific goal that is required for victory. And each individual athlete chooses their personal goals from within that framework. Once done, all of that body-breaking, mind-bending work can be focused upon something. And the sharper the focus and the harder the training, the more likely we are to see amazing things from them. (Medals or otherwise.)

Many times, our goals are not as easily defined. We have to define them ourselves. And for people who are Too XYZ, that is sometimes the greatest challenge.

I know it has been for me. As a freelance writer, my overall, meta-goal if you will is to secure opportunities to be paid for my writing, build a portfolio of said writings, and make the world aware of my abilities.

Broad, I know. And not exactly something I can tape to the wall of a training room and work towards everyday.

I need more specific goals that are smaller, and that is where my problems lie. Something that can be obtained, say this month, or this summer. Sometimes any given single day. Something tangible that is not so nebulous as to remain a dream for too long, but also not so mundane that I can accidentally attain it without effort.

I have improved in this very crucial skill of small/medium sized goal setting. Somewhat. But given the nature of my (current) business, I can’t really set too many business goals. So that leaves more personal goals.

How do you set goals? Anyone have any stories or advice as to how the smaller, touchstone goals are set in our lives when we are Too XYZ to be mega planners?

And too slow for speed skating…

Share your thoughts with me, readers.

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