I’m No Cheerleader
The greatest threat to completion of a long-term goal is the need for external motivation. I have turned down a number of clients (referring them to other coaches) because they wanted me to cheerlead and prod them to work. I know some successful coaches who provide that service, but I have decided that it’s not for me. Bottom line: I would have to charge too much for that service. The reasoning can be explained in an analogy.
I am not a cheerleader. I am a coach. Both are important careers, but cheerleaders stand on the sidelines. Though athletic and motivated like a player, they are satisfied on the sidelines. I stand on the sidelines too. But unlike my cheering colleagues, I played the game before. If I am not sharing knowledge with current players, I am on another field engaged in my craft. To change my purpose from drawing up plays to motivating your every activity would leave you without a plan of action. You would only be doing, without knowing where the doing is going.
You Must Become an Athlete
Enough about me. This is actually about you. You must develop a vision of what it means to be an athlete. Any athlete will tell you that the motivation required for elite status starts internally. No one has to motivate them to get out of bed, to complete the run, to try again. They know that, if they want the prize, they must put in the time consistently and up to their limit.
Elite athletes spend time in the gym outside of practice times perfecting technique. They learn about the craft and practice new skills in the off season. They engage multiple mentors, trainers, and coaches. They ask other elite players and even watch film on successful technique. They have a goal in mind AND written where they can always refer to, even run into it. It is not because the coach tells them to. It is because they want to build the habit of success.
You must adopt that same discipline…if you want the habit of success. Not motivated by some external support. Not waiting on some hoped for opportunity. You must get into your “gym.” Learn your craft and practice new skills. Engage with folks who have been where you want to be. BECAUSE this is how you demonstrate that you want IT.
- Make specific goals. State events, name names, and list outcomes that anyone can reasonably recognize when they are completed.
- Make sure your goals are measurable. Write them such that anyone can evaluate the level, intensity, and frequency at which the goal was achieved.
- Make sure the goals are time-oriented. Set dates of progress and firm deadlines to be met.
Write the goals down. Put it in print in sizes that you can post in multiple places.
- Keep the goals with you. In your wallet, on your clipboard, taped to your laptop, keep your goals in front of you so that you can refer to them whenever you have a moment to wait or a moment of doubt.
- Review your goals daily. Take time each day to reflect on why you challenge yourself beyond what others are willing to endure. BECAUSE this is how you demonstrate that you want IT.