Last August at the US National Swimming Championships, Erik Vendt (who won the 1500 meter freestyle at the meet) made a pact with Club Wolverine teammate Michael Phelps to not miss a day of training until they both made the Olympic team this year. The Olympic Trials, the meet in which they are pointing for is now about 60 days away. I have no doubt that both Michael and Erik have been true to their training goals, and will no doubt continue their dedication if and when they make the Olympic team and compete in Beijing. It is easy to see what motivates them to train with such unrelenting determination. Their motivations are easy to decipher.
Most of us do not have such defined goals in our lives. Most of us are not out to be the best in the world. But there are things we can certainly take from those that are on top as we strive for personal growth, whatever that may mean to you.
We can take the idea of having a goal to shoot for. A goal needs to be something that is fairly specific in order to be effective. To say that you will get in shape or that you will start training in the pool sometimes is not specific enough to capture the imagination for most individuals. To say that you will train 3 times a week or that you will be ready to compete at a Masters meet in 3 months and record a specific time in an event will lead to much more success in achieving something meaningful and satisfying.
We can also take the idea of having someone there to keep you honest in your pursuits. Having a partner or partners in your quests makes it that much easier to be accountable for staying with your pursuits. It also can make it that much more fun.
So pick a specific goal to shoot for, and if possible, share it with someone who can help you get there. Your motivations will stay more consistent and you will get to where you want to be.
Then when you get there, get ready to reset your goals!