This week we interviewed our colleague Jane on the subject of goals and she immediately thought of her cycling mad, GCSE studying, 15 year old son Freddie. On PlanetK2, Jane’s our friendly, efficient, energetic, enthusiastic office administrator, customer co-ordinator and all round superstar. What came out of the interview was a useful reminder to us about goals being useful, whatever performance you might be pursuing, when you use them effectively.
Young shoulders, wise head
Freddie’s got a couple of areas that are important to him in his life right now: pursuing a career in cycling and getting a good education. Pretty good focus there at 15 for starters.
Just now he’s quoting to his Mum, “Discipline is doing what you want most, not what you want now“. Wow. Get that from a 15 year old. Wherever he’s picked up that little phrase Freddie is applying it to both his school-work and his cycling in the form of a great approach to using goals.
The dream, the stages and the plan
In both of those areas, the goals are more specifically focused on becoming a professional cyclist and getting a university degree. Simple, focused outcome goals, which when achieved would open the door to some more targets. Simple, focused goals that harness some big dreams.
Diving a little deeper into his goals, there’s a good, simple structure to create the path to those outcomes. From an education point of view, Freddie’s targeted his GCSE successes and from a cycling perspective, he’s got a clear set of aims for top 10 finishes in national cycling events over the coming years. Having these goals working together for him is really helping with his mindset towards the dual pursuit. Over the last 6 months he’s come to realise that to get to the top and maintain it he’ll have to ‘drop some baggage’ and make some choices about which goal takes priority when. All the boys he’s racing against have talent but there will be dropouts as some fail to balance the conflicting demands of sport, school and inevitable socialising over the months ahead. He’s already seen over Christmas how just a week off can make a performance difference. And Jane has seen how his goals are helping him make choices.
So for cycling he has training goals and a training plan to work on with his coach. For his school-work he has the support of his parents, not so much pushing him, but prompting him to do what needs to be done. All of the prompts a reminder to choose his priorities carefully and so his focus is on the right thing at the right time.
Freddie’s dream may or may not happen, but on the way he’s learning about how to use the power of goals in whatever he does. So far his goals are working well for him.
Let’s end by replaying that line from Freddie. “Discipline is doing what you want most, not what you want now“. We love it, just like Jane loves Freddie.