Tips on Writing Goals for Athletes

As athletes – we all have goals. Some are more defined than others.  Some are bigger than others.  Some athletes have a method of reaching their goals in far faster time than others.

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We have all of our athletes in the gym write down their goals from day one. Some good examples are to lose 10 lbs. Compete in their first 5k. Get their first double under – or…string together 10 double unders. Achieve a 400 lb dead lift. Compete in CrossFit Regionals. Complete SEALFIT Kokoro or GORUCK.

Take out a 3×5 note card. Write out you number one goal that you currently want to achieve. This can be a physical goal like running your first 5k or reduce my 5k time by x minutes. Write down how you will accomplish this goal and on what date. “I will complete my first 5k on January 1, 2023. I will accomplish this by running hills and intervals 3x a week and by eating clean nutrition and dropping 10 lbs of fat. I will also perform yoga and bodyweight workouts twice a week and be accountable to my coach.


Have goals that agree with your core values. If you don’t know what your core values are, or you’re not sure, write out a list of the ten most important things in your life (no specific order), then take the top five and write out what you’d like to improve about each thing, then three steps you can take that will create momentum towards them.  As you get momentum, you’ll think of more and more ways to do this.

“Most people diffuse their psychic energy (attention) in hundreds of random ways. Those who flow focus their psychic energy intentionally upon the task at hand. It really boils down to knowing your goal, concentrating upon it, remaining determined and having the self-discipline to complete what you are doing.”
— Dick Sutphen


Believe that you Can Accomplish the Goal.

If you feel resistance to it, or there’s a voice in your head saying you can’t, continue to remind yourself that was your old belief and that you can.  If you still feel resistance (or fear), spend some time with it and ask yourself why.  If you can discover what your self-talk is around your goals/beliefs, you can find out what you’re really telling yourself and start changing how you think about the goal — and yourself.  Self-talk is the biggest power behind what we create, both negative and positive results.

3. The Obstacle is the Path.

If you hit an obstacle along the way, even several, it doesn’t mean “no” or you “can’t”.  It could just mean adjustments in the methods being used/how you’re trying to create them.  Maybe some other things need to be in place/created first.  Obstacles are just life’s way of helping you refine your tactics and mission statements to yourself.  Take them as ways to grow and learn about the creativity and skills you already have in you – but just haven’t discovered yet.  It’s the same thing with mistakes.  Mistakes are not failures, and even failure isn’t failure — unless you believe it is, and is a reason to stop trying for your goals.  Mistakes and failures are, as Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”


Take your 3×5 card out of your wallet and read them daily.  Read them aloud for better effect.  Visualize your dream coming true while you read them aloud for even better effect. Speak the words into existence. Back in 2016 my biggest physical goal was to ride my bike on the Colorado Trail. I posted a photo on the internet and challenged myself to be accountable to others.

For a guy living in Florida this was going to be a major task. It actually terrified me as there are so many factors that can effect your body and mind. Every few weeks or months I would continue to talk about this big ride and my dreams of attempting it. Altitude and dehydration are real factors that can limit your abilities. I trained hard and was able to ride from Leadville, Colorado to Denver (200 miles) along the Colorado Trail. If I had not written down that goal, memorized it and then spoke it into existence it never would have happened. What can you do today to set the gear in motion to work on your goals?

5. Take Massive Action Daily. Take notes on your daily progress.


Break your big goals down into smaller micro-goals.  Like doing one rep at a time versus looking at the whole workout in entirety.


Share your goals with a person who will keep you accountable.

Make sure NOT to share with other negative nobodies who will bring you down and squash your dream.  Only share with those that are a part of your team and will work to protect you and help you.  If you dont have someone like that then work hard to find someone.  Somewhere there are others that are doing the same — looking for another person to share their dream and to grow.  Put out signals – like a radio frequency – and you will attract others of like kind.


Celebrate the mini-success stories along the way. This could be a daily prayer of gratitude that you have made it through the day sober. Or it could be lowering your run time by 10 seconds this week.
Recognize your hard work each week with a small treat — even if you haven’t reached a specific goal, because just marching towards them every day with action steps is something to be proud of.


You have to be willing to work hard in order to reach your goal. Success only comes to those who are willing to do the extra work to insure that they are successful. This means going to the gym when you dont want to. This means performing tasks that are unpleasant and may cause your pain. But through it all you will remember your goal and those that you spoke to about it. But through daily discipline you are able to punch through your laziness and finish the drill.


Once you have reached your goal. Have your final celebration. Remember the moment as it will create lasting memories. Your brain in now hard wired to accept new challenges and to take direct action towards improvement. Take notes in your journal on how you can improve on your goal setting process. Get constructive feedback from your teammates and colleagues and ask how you could perform better in the next series of challenges. Talk to your coach and write up your notes on how you could improve.


Take an appropriate time off and rest your body appropriately. As an athlete with a new found method of increasing your abilities – you will want to make sure that you dont burn out. Begin the process again . Stretch mentally and physically and reach for your next big goal.

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