“If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail” -Benjamin Franklin
Mr Benjamin Franklin is on the money here and I believe that the skill of planning (amongst many others) is extremely under taught in our school system today. Does this mean that the school system is failing our children in not teaching them how to successfully plan? I could (and likely will) write a book on the topic of the failure of the system called ‘school’ so this is an area that I shall leave for another blog.
So what do I mean by plan?
Firstly you can't plan for something that doesn't exist. You must first have a goal that you are planning towards.
A goal is ‘a dream with a deadline’.
And as Walt Disney said “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”
Imagine getting into your car, turning the key and starting the engine, you pull away and you start driving. In the car you have a roadmap, you also have a satnav but as you are driving along you think to yourself where am I heading? Where am I going? Where is my destination. Oops, you forgot to set a destination! You would never get into your car and drive anywhere without a destination in mind would you? Perhaps you would if you had so much time on your hands and were incredibly bored!... But my point here is that this is exactly the same as failing to set goals, the goal is your destination. You must first have a clearly defined written down GOAL... A desired outcome with a date that you are going to achieve this outcome by.
Why do you need to set a date next to your goal?
The goal remains just as a DREAM without a clearly set deadline. Deadlines are vital in making sure we reach our goal.. Think about those assignments at school or college (Ok this may have been a while back for some of us, but humour me) when you were given the long summer holidays to complete a project that had to be handed in on the first day back of the new school term.... Did you break up from school and complete the task on the first day of the summer holidays? Or did you leave it until the last week or perhaps the last day and pull an all nighter to complete the task?? BUT did you, 90% of the time, complete the task by the deadline of the first day back of the new school term? ..... What would have happened if the teacher had said to you.. Just hand in the project on any date in the future.. Would you have completed the task?
AND even though you crammed that assignment into a day and all-nighter- did you in fact finish the task and therefore HIT your deadline? I’m guessing most of us are nodding along to this scenario, since it is a common human behaviour trait.
We have made sure that at all Flair Gym Clubs we incorporate vital life skills as part of the syllabus to give members the very best possible start and help in their journey as children, growing into adults. Goal setting and planning are part of the skill sets taught.
So how do we teach planning at Flair?
The Flair syllabus involves first setting a BIG goal eg. Pass level 7 by the last class of term. We then set mini-achievable goals and each member is further taught how to break down those mini-goals into even smaller parts (a plan) to then work on those mini-goals (building blocks) to bring them closer and closer to their BIG GOAL.... this in turn allows them to learn skill upon skill that further links together to form a routine, that routine is then polished and practised to form a presentation that is ready to be completed at competitions whereby their routine is judged against a criteria as to how brilliant (or not so brilliant) it may be.
Why do we break the BIG GOAL down into smaller goals- isn't this all getting a little complex?
We always break a goal down into mini-bite sized chunks. Think of those mini-goals as the building blocks, we build more and more mini blocks to get us to the end goal.... WHY?
If each task is too HUGE it can sometimes overwhelm us and seem TOO BIG and unattainable. This in turn can lead to procrastination. We slip back into our comfort zone and stop progressing.... You look at it and say “OUCH, I can't possibly get that completed, I’m going to go and sit in front of the TV where it is safe, easy and comfortable” Or in the gym, the member may stop ‘attempting’ the skills that appear to be too hard or too big! They get bored and don’t feel like they are progressing and become unhappy in their class.
So we stop our minds from going into overwhelm by breaking down all tasks (skills in the gym) into mini bite-sized bits (building blocks).
“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time” - Creighton Abrams
If we don’t feel like we are progressing in things that we do, be it in the gym, at school, at home, with friendships, or in any area of our life, we start to not feel great about ourselves or that thing.. WHY?
Because Progress = HAPPINESS
Progress truly is the magic happiness pill!
This is why it is vital to break down goals into building blocks to help us progress and ultimately achieve the goal as we progress through each building block.
So, what stops us from achieving goals?
The ONLY thing that stops any one of us from ever achieving our goals is down to failure to take action. We may have set the big hairy goal, created this cool plan, BUT we failed to take any action, perhaps didn't even start working through that awesome plan... BUT WHY?
What stops us from taking action?
Just one thing stops anyone from ever taking action and that one thing is..... FEAR!
FEAR stops us from taking action and since action moves us closer to our goals, we FAIL at ever reaching the goal, especially if we never ‘start’
FEAR OF WHAT?
- Fear of failure is the biggest fear!
- Fear of what others might think!
- Fear of success is another (self sabotage) strange fear that can attack us all!
Overcoming FEAR will guarantee that you achieve your goals.
I’ve written about FEAR in a previous blog post HERE, please do take a moment to read this Fear Blog as it goes into some useful detail about how to flip that fear into helpful encouragement and even excitement which will help you to gain momentum in taking action and drive you towards taking the needed steps to ultimately achieve your goal.
Now the hardest part of any journey is STARTING. I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine during my training days for the British stunt register. We’d have the same conversation 3 times a week for the best part of a year as we drove to the Crystal Palace national sports centre to take our 6am high board diving lessons. The conversation was me telling him how I wanted to start up a gymnastics club and teach kids the things that I had learnt as a gymnast. I used to go on and on like a broken record saying ‘one-day’ I will start up a club. He used to say ‘Go on then’ and I’d say, I will ‘one-day!’ After possibly the 100th time of telling this same story, he turned around to me and gave me possibly the best piece of advice anyone has ever given me... He said “Richard, do you know how many people talk about doing something, but never ever take any action to start to make it happen. Stop talking about it and just get on and do it.”
Was I scared of it failing? YES, did i still have 1,000 excuses as to WHY I couldn't start? YES.... But something inside resonated, perhaps it was wanting to prove to him that I wasn't like those who never started, perhaps it was wanting to prove this to myself, BUT the very next day, I went to my local school hall and asked if I could hire it to run gymnastics classes, I set a date when the club was going to open, I created a plan and I distributed flyers into the local community and started to get people talking about this new gym club that was about to start up!
And the rest, as they say, is history...
It is true to say that 90% of people will never ever take action, they talk a good talk, but allow fear to take grip and never ever START the journey towards their goal.
The hardest part of any journey is STARTING. Don’t put off starting to work on that thing that you have dreamt about, don’t keep it as a dream, write down the date that you will achieve it by and you now have a GOAL!
- Goals are dreams with deadlines.
- Write out your goals clearly and always include a date the you intend to achieve the goal by (the deadline).
- Once you have clearly defined goals, create a plan that forms your roadmap or how to get to your written goal.
- The plan breaks down the goal into mini bite size bits that are achievable (the building blocks).
- Progress = Happiness.
- The only thing that stops us achieving our goals is FEAR.
- TAKE ACTION NOW. The hardest part of any journey is ‘starting’
Until next time...
To join a Flair Gym club and start your gymnastics adventure book online here > www.ukflair.com/clubs
Or just call us on 01483 654440
Founder and CEO at Flair Gymnastics