Setting Goals For Your Training – The Self Defense Company

Setting Goals For Your Training

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    • #10638

      It’s hard to believe, but do you realize that goal setting can actually HURT your performance? (Right now, you should be saying “What the hell???”) Here’s why……studies show that, if you FAIL to reach a goal, here’s what often happens: You lose confidence -> Increases anxiety -> Decreases effort -> Performance deteriorates
      Wow, right? But, here’s the thing… not all goals are the same. There’s actually 3 types of goals that you need to know about to avoid this problem..
      #1 is an OUTCOME goal. In other words, your goal is to have an OUTCOME, such as…
      …winning the fight
      …getting your black belt by November
      Pretty common, right? Well, these are goals that
      •involve someone else, so…
      •you don’t have full control over achieving that goal
      … increasing your chance that you may not reach the goal, setting off the unfortunate chain of events I mentioned above. Of course, you probably SHOULD have this type of goal, but you need more.

      #2 is a PERSONAL PERFORMANCE goal, for example:
      …putting on 10 pounds of muscle by October
      …getting 10 reps of 90 pound curls
      These type goals…
      •involve only you…
      •so you have more chance of success
      •still involve risk of failure
      Sure, it’s important to use these goals, but you’ll notice that there’s still a significant chance of failure. However, consider # 3 below…

      #3 is a PROCESS goal, which is establishing a PROCESS that you want to go through, then just going through it, such as:

      …doing slow, controlled repetitions of a technique such as the 3 count chop drill
      …training at a specific tempo
      …spending the session perfecting form of one move

      This is a goal that you DO HAVE FULL CONTROL OVER, so…
      •you experience CONSISTENT SUCCESS of reaching your goal
      •the focus on the process distracts you and REDUCES ANXIETY of a failed outcome
      •you nearly always IMPROVE performance by focusing on process
      Although it would seem necessary to have Outcome goals (I want to win!) and Perfomance goals (I want to do better!), your outcome could likely be greater by de-emphasizing them, and focusing on Process goals. At the very least, successful Process goals can go a long way toward minimizing the negative effect of failed outcome or performance.

    • #12755

      I’ve never really thought of goals like that. But you are correct, not reaching goals is stressful and can cause you to fail or get upset with yourself and make you wanna quit. I experienced this years ago setting a performance goal for myself to pass the Cisco certification. If I would have passed I had a very good paying job located in Arizona for an Internet firm. Needless to say I failed the certification by one point and became so upset with myself that I really never messed with computers that much anymore. So yes not reaching a goal can and will cause anxiety and put way to much stress on you.

    • #12758
      James Goolsby


      Amazing, as usual, sir.

      I am a big proponent of goal-setting, having achieved quite a lot of things in life that otherwise would have gone unfulfilled as a result. But I must admit, I never quite thought of the process in the way you describe. I suppose it’s because, in general, I am a positive person, so even when I “fail” I just see it as succeeding at finding another way that didn’t work. Perhaps I am just fooling myself, though, because I would be lying if I said that I never experienced the type of disappointment you speak of.

      You have given me a lot to think about. I will certainly review my current goals and make note of what I can and cannot control, and then spend my time focused on the former.



    • #12759

      Goal setting is tricky. They need to be realistic and flexible but at the same time have an amount of certainty otherwise you could just keep pushing them back.

      I love the Herm Edwards quote “a goal without a plan is a wish.”

      What you want to do is have a goal then develop a plan to obtain that goal. The plan is the action you need to get you there.

      Suppose you want to get certified in SDTS. Then you would set a plan to train in the Modules at a pace you can handle. You also need to be willing to adjust your plan based on your current needs.

      If your plan is to train 3 times a week for 45 minutes and one week you become sick or work gets out of hand – no problem, adjust our plan accordingly.

      So in essence there are 3 functions:
      Goal Setting

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