Let’s be honest for a minute: Do you set goals with the aim of getting better, or rather of showing yourself and/or others how good you already are?

Here are two scenarios that will demonstrate what we mean:

Situation #1: You’ve been running faithfully on the treadmill for months, doing three miles per session at 6 mph. You decide to raise your speed to 7 mph, and your miles to four per session.

That goal aims mainly to show how good you are. Don’t misunderstand: It’s a fine goal as far as it goes. It will make you run faster and longer. But it’s essentially about proving yourself, not gaining a new skill.

Situation #2: You’ve gotten good at running on the treadmill. But your upper-body strength isn’t great, and you decide you need to improve it.

So instead of setting another treadmill goal, you decide on a weight-lifting goal: Each time you’re at the gym, you’ll do 10 x 3 reps on four different machines, to strengthen your biceps, triceps, pecs and lats. Now you’re gaining new skills and really getting better as far as overall fitness is concerned.

Expanding horizons
As you can see, there’s a big difference between these two goals.

One keeps you in your comfort zone, even if it does maybe push the limits of that zone. The other expands your horizons, helping you gain or improve on abilities you may not even have believed you had.

For optimum development – for yourself or your team – try mixing both kinds of goals.

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