This may seem crazy as you just want to get on with your goal and do something. Now is the best time to look ahead and see what could go wrong.
Start thinking about the hurdles, barricades and pitfalls that may get in your way.
- What external factors may prevent you from working towards your goal.
- The situations that may lay ahead.
- Circumstances that there may be.
- WHO may get in your way or is it yourself that you may struggle with.
- How are you when you are tired, weak or susceptible to temptation?
Going through all of these scenarios can feel a little bit daunting and negative but thats why it is good to do it now while you are ‘pumped’ and hungry to get started on your goal.
I call them; ‘The Excuse Busters’
The next bit may take some external input from friends or colleagues but make sure that they are like minded people, understand your goal and most importantly are positive.
You now have to put in place something that will address all of the barricades and excuses that you have just come up with. I call them The Excuse Busters. some are easy to fix and some take a lot more time and effort to implement.
- Find it hard to wake up in the morning: Buy an alarm clock
- Keep turning the alarm clock off in the morning. Set up a system to go to bed earlier or sleep smarter.
- Not getting full quality sleep: Read this book, Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
The hardest reasons/excuses are the external factors. Things that you have no control over and that’s where you have to make sure that you don’t start leaning on excuses but instead, turn your excuses into challenges
Exert taken from the upcoming book
Being good at swimming wasn’t going to cut it at this level and this was one area that I needed to massively improve on. I realised that I wasn’t great at it because I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t enjoy it because I wasn’t great at it. I needed to break the cycle and as you can’t force yourself to like something I had to choose ‘plan B’ and improve my swim.
Don’t count the Days make the days count
I knew that this was going to take action, more time in the pool, dedication and commitment, getting someone to look at my stroke. It’s said that to improve your swimming style, skill and habits to an elite level can take up to 4 years. I didn’t have 4 years so instead of counting the days I had to make the days count.
‘…having to stop for stray ‘width swimmers’
The first thing that I did was I jumped on the internet and searched out all of the local pools in the area especially the ones on my route to and from work. I was very happy with Ponds Forge in Sheffield but I knew in my head that if there was an occasion or a reason as to why I couldn’t train there then I would be very tempted to lean on that as an excuse. I found all of the other facilities, their opening times and equally important whether or not they do lane swimming. There’s nothing worse than getting half way through a timed swim set and then having to stop for stray ‘width swimmers’. Chatting with their heads above water trying to not get their makeup smudged or their hair wet. Lane swimming was a must…for both parties.
…it joined the stash of ‘excuse busters’.
Once I was equipped with this information then it joined my other stash of ‘excuse busters’. My spare trunks, goggles, towel that sat in my car next to the spare trainers and bike helmet. For me to take action I needed to ensure that nothing would get in my way. All items were there as a proactive measure and some from embarrassing past experiences…like the spare trunks!
At no point had I conceded that this was out of my hands
At six o’clock one winter morning, on reaching Ponds Forge the message was relayed that swimming was cancelled due to boiler issues.
I slotted my car into gear and immediately drove out of Sheffield. Graves swimming pool was situated on the outskirts of the city. Parked, paid, changed and dived in to complete my planned training set for the day. At no point had the thought crossed my mind of dropping the session and having an early day at work. At no point had I conceded that this was out of my hands and couldn’t be helped. I had planned for this situation. Time was precious and I knew that there was no other available slot in the day.
The emergency swimming trunks…well that’s a different story altogether.