Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tue 18th Aug - Setting A Goal Sets You For A Fall?

I hope today finds you well.

The World Championships Athletics are going on this week in Berlin. Lots to think about, including Usain Bolt's amazing 9.58 world record in the 100m. Plus long time readers will know I focus on Yelena Isinbayeva in the pole vault, who came last after not clearing any height!

Today though I'm going the British angle, and talking about Jessica Ennis who took gold in the heptathlon.

Last year at 22 she was a rising star showing lots of promise, but on the eve of the Olympics she found out she had broken her right foot in 3 places. Not only did she have to watch the Olympics at home on crutches, but it was unclear whether she would ever compete another heptathlon.

It looked like all her hard work over many years, even at her young age, had ended up in failure - that's what you get for setting a goal, a big fall, right?

Then she found out that she could compete again, but to protect the foot she would have to change take off leg in the long jump. If I asked you to write your name, which hand would you use? Now imagine using the other hand, and that's what Ennis faced with changing her take off leg, it's such an integral part of the long jump.

She found it extremely hard, not surprising really, but persevered, and entered the championships this weekend with the world leading mark this year, going on to lead from start to finish throughout the 7 events.

She's already being talked of as the face of the London 2012 Olympics, but that's a full 3 years away, anything can happen to an athlete in that time.

It's a great story though, showing that yes, setting a goal can indeed set you up for a fall, you may end up with failure after all your efforts, no achievement to note.
However, you'll *certainly* end up without achievement if you don't set goals and work at them, and Jessica Ennis showed that seemingly insurmountable setbacks can be overcome, leading to the success you first set out towards.
Good for her I say!

Sport gives clear stark examples of goal achievement theory, that's why I love to use them so much, and it's why I enjoy watching sport, but a key point to draw from them is that in a non-sporting life, you don't have to be so extreme.

You maybe won't have to go through such extreme levels of stress and work to get to your goals, but the steps are the same - set your goal, work out the steps needed, take the first step and keep working.
I doubt your setbacks will include a broken foot, your goal may not be to become World Champion, but the example of people like Ennis shows what you *can* achieve for yourself.

Ok, that's it for today, I'm off to do my own heptathlon - 7 types of chocolate...!

'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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