The pressure to ‘know your purpose’

Setting goals isn’t an easy thing to do. At least not the big, meaningful ones. We’re ok at setting the weight loss or performance goals, but sometimes it can feel like we’re under a lot of pressure to be crystal clear on our greater aspirations. To articulate precisely what it is that we want to achieve. But it isn’t an easy thing to do. Lurching from one short term goal to the next doesn’t quite hit the mark. Lose 10lb. Run a marathon. Learn to swim. All great big goals, and all of them just a part of something bigger that’s a hell of a lot harder to define. This… Read the full article »

Have you ever been a complete beginner

I’m having an interesting experience at the moment as I learn how to swim. Both of my last 2 big goals – running 10 back to back marathons and running 100 miles in 24 hours – although challenging, were extensions of what I could already do. I was on familiar ground; some way along a sliding scale and all I had to do was move along a few more notches. Swimming is different. Because I have to get ON the scale before I can begin to move along it. I’m a complete beginner, and I’m loving it. It’s turning out to be such a powerful experience, that I want to… Read the full article »

Bridging the gap between intention and action

Have you ever said to yourself that you’re going to do something, only to give it a half hearted go and then give up before you really got started? There’s often a gap between good intention and consistent action, and without bridging that gap chances of success and an enjoyable process are vastly reduced. Recently when I set myself that goal of running under 50s for the 400m, on paper I had everything I needed to have a decent crack at it. I had a powerful reason ‘why’, I knew what I was doing, and I even had all the elements of the traditional SMART goals. But it still didn’t… Read the full article »

How to predict your race time

When I was at personal trainer school one of the things we learned was to find somebody’s ‘one rep max’ (1RM) which is the maximum amount of weight they can lift one time. It’s supposed to be a measure of absolute strength but in practice it’s utterly pointless. Lifting as much weight as you can on a bench press or squat can be downright dangerous, and most of us will give out mentally way before we fail physically. A much better way is to use a 10RM to predict your 1RM. You find a weight you can lift only 10 times, and you can then predict what you’d be able… Read the full article »

Do you follow the rules?

How strongly do you agree with the statement ‘rules are there for breaking’? Aside from the letter of the law, it’s quite nice to imagine that we’re not constrained by the rules that ‘other people’ feel compelled to abide by. Doing things our own way gives us a sense of freedom and excitement, but often there is a strong case for rules when we could legitimately ‘do as we choose’. In fact you probably already have a number of rules that you follow. Perhaps you never leave the house before brushing your hair, or you always stand up when somebody enters the room. Neither of these things are compulsory and… Read the full article »