Goal Setting Part 3: the axis of TIME

some nice ideas about new year’s resolutions here. see, i’m not the only one thinking about the grand master plan for ME!

i blogged previously about creating measurable goals and about having an overall plan. now for some sad news- goals have expiry dates. time is a key element in any goal-setting process because it both keeps you on track and helps you see the bigger picture. time will never on your side, but you can use it as a great motivator. so when i’ve finished my little goal to-do list, and organized them into the different areas of my life, i then take a step back even further and imagine where i want to be in 5 years, and in 10 years. for an example i’ll have to go back a few years…

in 2007 i received my 200-hour yoga teacher training, which had been a little goal on my list for a year or so. in 2008 i taught at various studios in joburg and took my first trip to mysore. i loved yoga! at first i was happy just teaching, then i started getting big ideas- like why not open my own yoga studio? and maybe someday teach other aspiring yoga teachers? so i started building a road map to get there:

  1. register as an RYT-200 Yoga Alliance, USA (completed july 2008)
  2. create Ekam Yoga (completed march 2010)
  3. teach 1000 hours of yoga and register as an experienced registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) (completed january 2011)
  4. draw up a fantastic curriculum and submit it to Yoga Alliance, USA for review and approval (completed november 2011, approval expected early 2012)
  5. set a date (july 2012) and let the world know!

none of this happened over night, and if you looked at my goal list over the last 5 years you would only see little goals:

  1. practice yoga 5 times/week (2007-current)
  2. teach a yoga class 3x/week (2008-2009)
  3. spend a month in mysore (2008, 2009)
  4. save $10,000 annually (2007-2009)
  5. create ekam yoga (2009-2010) (ok that was a big goal)
  6. triple student attendance at the studio (2010)

each of these were SMART goals when i originally wrote them down, some more than 5 years ago. over time they accumulated, getting me to the present where i can make really cool decisions about where my passion for yoga will take me, from anchoring and growing the only mysore-style ashtanga program in joburg, to running the best yoga teacher training program, to organising international yoga retreats, to maybe becoming a travelling yoga teacher some day! just by taking lots of little baby steps over time.

remember, yearly goals are about the little things, breaking bad habits, creating good habits. but why are you trying to affect these seemingly small bits of change in your life? this is where having a 5 year and 10 year sketch of where you want to be comes in handy. because you’re building the person right now that’s going to be able to handle those big dreams you have for yourself in the not too distant future.

now i’m going to take my experience with yoga and apply it to a new area of my life, parkour, and ask myself- where do i want to be 5 years from now? i’m a realist so i’ve given parkour an expiry date: i’m going to practice parkour for 5 years or until i break something; that’s my overarching goal. 5 years because i’ll be 45 and more breakable every year, but also because 5 years is where i’d expect to see a bit of mastery and would be better able to make judgements about my future in parkour. i also need to give myself enough time to see if i’m any good at it. i wasn’t any good at yoga after 2 years, and my strengths as a teacher of yoga have only just started to grow. and i’ve only come into greater awareness and a sense of contentment with my yoga practice at the 5-year mark. so… 

Parkour Goals

2012 (1 year goals)

  • keep up strength and conditioning training 4 days/week, jam at least once a week, twice if possible. focus on creating a strong body that’s up for the practice. modify conditioning quarterly, adapting to new abilities.
  • continue with practicing yoga 4 days/week. focus on creating a supple body that is resistant to injury, and a resilient and focused mind.
  • at year-end, create a 3 minute video of continuous parkour (hmmm…side goal: save money for a go-pro video camera and head mount- YES! gadget goal achieved!).
  • continue to encourage more women to participate actively in the pk/fr community.

2017 (5 year goals)

  • create a 5 minute continuous pk video.
  • have a habit of strength and conditioning training and base knowledge that will be maintained indefinitely as i age (general health and limits loss of bone mass as i approach menopause)
  • look into credentials required to develop future pk/fr practitioners (i.e. see if you’d make a good teacher)

here are some key points to notice in the above goals:

  1. i’m dealing with the present needs (strength and conditioning) to get me to future goals. not just one big leap to pk master!
  2. i’m tying some of my goals into other areas of my life (yoga, teaching, aging).
  3. i’m creating a goal of being part of a community, a network and a support group that will reinforce my goals (more on goal sharing later).
  4. i’m building in alternatives if i do happen to break something, essentially investigating what level i need to reach to branch out within the activity and apply other strengths (teaching) to something i’m passionate about (more about what to do when goals fails later).

where are you going? not just this year, but in the future? where do you want to be in 5 years, in 10 years, and beyond?


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