Saracen's Tenet

ST: Goal Setting

This tenet is about the theory of goal setting. This is a theory that isn’t solely put to wrestling, however, I will be using it in a wrestling context, it is something I was taught by a good friend and I’d like to pass on to you, because it works…

I’d like to start this week’s column by encouraging you to email me, especially if you think I am wrong. I’m not the world’s greatest authority on wrestling and most of my columns are mere opinion, I try to get both sides of the argument though, so if I seem a little biased, it’s usually because I can’t see that I am.

This tenet is about the theory of goal setting. This is a theory that isn’t solely put to wrestling, however, I will be using it in a wrestling context, it is something I was taught by a good friend and I’d like to pass on to you, because it works.

Whenever someone wants to do something in life it is a goal, it may not seem achievable, but it is a goal all the same, however, to get to that final destination, you have to walk the path and make decisions along the way.

With every goal comes a series of challenges to overcome, therefore if you go for an ultimate goal, then you may find the challenges overwhelming. So working out what you need to do and making smaller challenges will make the journey more palatable.

My ultimate goal was, and still is, to do something about my weight, but find a fun way of doing it; and fortunately, the wrestler known as Wolf persuaded me to join K-Star. As an ultimate goal, it was a very high, as anyone at KSW will tell you, I was horrendously overweight. I worked out that my first goal was to be able to continue training, so I needed to impress the training staff and realised that If I could overcome that challenge I would be one step closer to my ultimate goal, plus I would feel that I have achieved something.

Once I had done that, my next challenge was to learn the basics of wrestling. This wasn’t an instantaneous challenge; it had to be broken down over months, until I slowly built up confidence, again with smaller goals to achieve.

The interesting thing to note is that while I was concentrating on one goal, another one was beginning to be achieved on its own. I was getting fitter and, with encouragement, I was beginning to do things that I never thought I could possibly ever do. Sometimes this happens as when you break up a goal into smaller goals, they begin to overlap into each other and one challenge affects the difficulty of another.

One day I was in the pub and an acquaintance I hardly ever see asked me if I had lost a truckload of weight. I said I hope so as I really hadn’t noticed, and oddly still feel as overweight as I did when I first walked into K-star’s gym. However, because people were beginning to comment on my apparent weight loss, I knew that I was another step closer to my ultimate goal.

The funny thing is, that because my ultimate goal is closer and I am feeling positive that I will achieve it, that I am beginning to consider changing it, the fun I have whilst wrestling has changed it and I am considering working across the country. However, I am not going to change my Ultimate goal yet, as if I lose sight of why I first decided to walk the path, it is very easy to get lost. I stay in the gym, work the shows I can and learn how to become better, sooner or later I will have to change my ultimate goal, but I have a lot for challenges to overcome first.

As I mentioned before, goal setting does not just apply to wrestling, you may have heard of things called a 5 or 10 year plan, these are just a set of goals to achieve, but within a certain time span, which sometimes you need to do.

So in short:

1. Work out what your ultimate goal is, as my fellow wrestler and good friend Danny Devine has said to me, it is OK to have a dream as a goal.
2. Plan a general route to your ultimate goal, use a piece of paper to write it out if necessary, try to be honest with yourself and split it up into smaller goals.
3. Work out which is the goal you have to start with and see if you have to break that up into smaller goals.
4. At some point you will have to face a challenge, the smaller the goal, the easier the challenge is to overcome as it will have less connotations and subtleties to overcome, keep your challenges simple.
5. Overcoming a challenge can be a goal.
6. Never berate yourself for falling at the first hurdle, pick yourself up and try again, challenges are not meant to be easy. On the opposite side of the coin, don’t overly celebrate succeeding a challenge as you may lose sight of the overall goal you have set.
7. Whatever you do, don’t get complacent about your ultimate goal or decide to change it based on your current success.

It’s worked for me and it could work for you, but remember it is only advice, you may have your on way of working towards your goals.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I’ll see you in the forums.