Training goals are typically set in three to six-month intervals. With my clients most goals fall into three somewhat fluid categories: return to activity after an injury (could be a sport, could be gardening), train for a specific sporting event (not always a competition either, but to participate), or look good for Barcelona*.

All great goals for the short-term focus they bring to training. But we can do even better.

What if you’d have an additional long-term goal that makes you feel warm, fuzzy, weepy and all the other overly positive skirmish adjectives one can think of?

Think not in years, but in decades. Lifelong, if you will. An aspiration that can feel slightly out of reach, but provides a framework to guide all your future short-term goals.

To be clear, you will still set three to six-month goals, as hardcore as you might want**. But achieving these goals shouldn’t take anything away from your life-long aspiration.

To give you an example, when I’m 85 years old I want to go for long walks in the nature, carry bags of groceries up the stairs without hips exploding, and throw frisbee and semi-kick football with my possible grandkids. Every short-term goal I set has to fit in within the framework of my long-term vision.

If any three to six month training goal between now and 2069 will make me less likely to move and exists like that 85 year old white haired rioter, the short-term goal is not for me. I have to either scrap it altogether, or adjust the approach so it still supports the future me.

Now, what are you really training for?

*This is not some poor attempt at corona virus related joke. What’s going on in Spain is horrific. Rather, Barcelona really was one client’s goal last year. And he nailed it.
**Although, if you’re like me or most of my clients, hardcore is probably not your jam.

Blog idea from Dan John’s long, heartfelt goal on dancing at his granddaughter’s wedding.