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Goal vs Process Orientated. Which one are you and what should you be!?

Surprisingly to me when I threw this question out earlier this week, the results were almost split, with process orientated winning by just one extra vote. Now admittedly this wasn't a mass participated questionnaire, but it did make me think as some of the answers that some people gave me did actually surprise me (don't worry I won't name who they were). But here's my thoughts and hopefully it can help give you some perspective on this and maybe see this from another angle...

Traditionally for years, the emphasis for many has always been about the outcome, a win, a personal best and for some an olympic gold medal. But how do we get there?

For me, I think we should split goals in three different areas: process, performance, and outcome. When it comes to race focused athletes, it is widely regarded that athletes who prioritise setting process and performance goals, have far more sustained success, versus those who get too hung up on the outcome orientated goals.

My question to you is, which one of those three processes can you really control? Trying to get first place or achieve a certain time, you have to realise there are a lot of factors that are completely out of your control. So why focus on that instead of the things you can control on a daily basis? Focusing on the result usually only ends one way, which is a athlete who has fear, anger and disappointment.

So that leaves you with the process! Get that right and it'll lead to the performance goals that you've set. The outcome is such a short lived moment. If you don't like or focus on the journey and all you want is that feeling at the end, then it's such a big waste of time and emotional energy. Probably the most sad thing is, people then end up leaving their chosen sport behind because of it. I've seen this happen way too many times.

I love what I do, I love training, I love knowing that I'm getting better day by day and yes I love being competitive. BUT I've become competitive by: 1. Planning

2.Focusing on doing the best I can each day with what's been planned

3. Trusting that plan/process

4. Not allowing myself to get obsessed with that plan/process

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY...Enjoying everyday of that plan/process, even with the workouts that hurt!!

Hope you find this useful, I welcome any discussions on this whether you agree or disagree. And if I can help you with this, then also please get in touch. Thanks



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Is this really a surprise? It shouldn't be. World-class distance swimmers probably swim in the region of 50-80k per week, with 10-20% being hard and the rest being relatively easy. Professional cyclis

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