We hear a lot about setting targets and goals in our training. Sometimes we see strength standards posted: e.g. you should be able to do 50 pushups, 15 bodyweight rows, bench 1.5 bodyweight, do a 5k in 20 minutes or whatever. All decent goals. But sometimes goals can be distracting.
Here is a good goal: Just show up.
Workout by workout, do the work. You do not need to set records, you do not need to progress. Simply do the workout. Warmup, workout and go home. But do the work. Consistent hard work will pay off in the long run.
I was talking to my pal Colin Gordon this morning as he treated my back (he is an excellent massage therapist). He made the point that sometimes the more you focus on a goal, the further away it seems. If you simply focus on consistently showing up and doing the work you might just find yourself hitting your goals almost by accident.
Goals can introduce so much stress that we do not really need. Life is chaotic; all sorts of things are going on. No matter how hard you try, things will conspire such that you find your performances being equally chaotic. If your preoccupation is on hitting certain numbers then you may often fail. If your goal is simply to turn up and do some exercises then you will get some benefit - even if it is just to chill out and relax for half an hour.
If you've had a tough day at work and you turn up at the gym, you might find yourself psyched to get a great session in........or you might decide to spend some time stretching, rolling, and doing some easy pushups...and that is ok. Feel refreshed and come back another day for the hard work.
But just keep going.