High Performance Requires A Goal

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It is no secret that high performers, in life and sports, are motivated individuals. Typically, they possess some talent in their sport, profession or hobby. They are also hard workers and ambitious. What isn’t talked about, though, is their goal setting.


High performers aren’t high performers by accident. It is focused talent, ambition and work ethic that leads to high performance. What do I mean by “focused”? Talent, ambition and work ethic mean nothing without a focused goal.


It is this goal setting process that makes the difference between average and great. A talented, ambitious and hardworking individual without a goal is lost. A goal provides the direction one must take. This direction tells you exactly what you should or shouldn’t be doing to help you achieve this goal.


If your goal is to save $10,000 over the course of a year, is frivolous spending and living paycheck to paycheck in your best interest? Probably not. Should a college athlete who wants to play professionally never practice, strength train, condition or study their sport? Once again, the answer is probably not.


Once your goal is established, it makes your everyday choices easy. Let’s take a hypothetical high school football player who has the goal to play in college as an example. Here are questions that this player needs to answer:


  1. Do I possess the right support staff (family, friends, mentors, teammates, coaches) necessary to help me reach my goal?
  2. Does my nutrition reflect my goal?
  3. Does my sleep reflect my goal?
  4. Does my mental approach or mental toughness resemble what is needed to reach my goal?
  5. Do my school grades reflect my goals? (FYI – you will not be accepted into school if you flunk out)
  6. Does my current work ethic resemble what is needed to reach my goal?
  7. Does my training (skill work, practice, strength training, speed/agility, conditioning) reflect my goal?
  8. If you’re a multi-sport athlete do the other sports you play help develop qualities needed for your goal? —  For instance, running cross country doesn’t make you a faster or more powerful football player.


This self audit is important for keeping you on track. It helps you find your strengths and weaknesses and adjust accordingly. Success is multifactorial. To be successful, every aspect of your life needs to be taken into account. Sometimes a small change is all that is needed to catapult an individual to high performance. Sometimes a total lifestyle change is necessary. Either way, you’ll be spinning your wheels if you don’t perform a self audit to find out where you need improvement.

So now that we have this established, here is my challenge to you.


  1. Figure out your goal → Make your goal SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Relevant, Time keyed, Exciting, and Risky).   


  1. Perform a self audit → Be honest with yourself. Find areas of your life that need improvement to help you reach your goal.


  1. Make your plan of attack → Create a plan of attack to improve your weak areas.


  1. Kick Ass → Once you create your plan, kick ass and follow through. Don’t make excuses. If you fall off the train, get back on it. If you follow through enough, your changes become habits. At this point, success is inevitable.


Be sure to let us know your own experience and your journey! Good luck.

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