Learning to make goals at an early age is crucial to growing into adulthood. Just like learning to write a check, save money, cook, and create. Goal setting is a skill that has many benefits to thriving in the “real world”. But like check writing, cooking, and being creative schools don’t mandate goal setting into their regular curriculum. So how are they ever going to learn?
I hear so often kids say their goal is to get an A in a class, or be the best basketball player on their team. But they don’t really understand how to achieve those goals, and when things don’t go their way they give up and feel awful about themselves, and especially feel like they let their parents down.
But in all honesty, we let them down.
We put expectations on kids and almost never give them the tools they need to succeed, they just have to figure it out on their own. That’s not fair to them. And when they grow up, what did they learn?
That giving up is easier.
It is our responsibility to teach and encourage this next generation to go for their goals and show them how. So where do we start?
When I coach kids, or even talk to my younger siblings about goals, I ask them specific questions for specific areas of life or passions.
For example, I have a boy I coach and he loves playing basketball, his main goal is to be the starting point guard. Now, I take his overall goal, and break it into small goals so that along the way he can achieve the overall goal.
For him, I call them Game Day Goals. I ask him to write his top 3 game day goals. I specify that they must have positive words in them instead of negative. An example of using negative words for goals would be: “not missing a shot”, “not messing up a play”, etc. Those goals would set him up for failure rather than success. Missing a shot or messing up a play will happen in its own course and you can’t always control those mishaps.
Reframing a small goal into positive controllable words, he will give himself the affirmation he needs to keep going even when those mishaps happen. Here’s how he phrased his small goals, “I want to make a 3 pointer”, “I want to lead the offense to score,” “I want to make a lay up”.
This is a great start. We don’t stop here, now we continue the conversation, asking “how”.
The “how” is where all the tools come to play. “How will you make a 3 pointer?”, “how will you lead the offense to score?”, etc. Then I give him time to think and not interrupt his thoughts with my own. I may know an answer I would give for those questions, but that does not make them his tools, and I can’t give him mine; they must be personal to him. Once he answers the how, we can go onto the why, and have a whole conversation.
For all goal settings, we must go further than just writing them down and hanging them up, we need to have a conversation and a discussion around them. As humans we are more likely to remember a conversation than a grocery list. Be honest, how many times have you gone to the grocery store and had to look at the list constantly to remember what you wrote?
Now, think about an awesome conversation you had with someone and you could recite everything that was said; like a story.
Goals should be created into a familiar story.
So next time you talk to your kids, or anyone younger than you about goals, try using the what, how, and why strategy so that they can tell their own story.
Let’s make their goals happen!
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Meredith graduated from Gordon College, class of 2019, with a Bachelors of Science majoring in Recreation, Sport and Wellness with a concentration of Sport Studies. While attending Gordon College she was a four year varsity softball athlete. Meredith also has a background in Martial Arts, and has been training in Uechi Ryu Karate for fifteen years and is a 3rd degree black belt.Meredith is passionate about community and friendship, she loves getting to know the people around her on a deeper level and listens to the value in everyones’ life stories.She began her weightlifting journey freshman year of high school, and found CrossFit her senior year of college. Meredith’s favorite weightlifting movement is the squat clean, and her favorite CrossFit WOD is anything that shows off her bodyweight ninja skills.
Tips and Tricks for a Stronger Core
Before I give my personal tips and tricks on how to get abs, I first need to mention that every BODY is different, and not all abs look the same. We need to accept that very important fact, and then understand that our bodies are capable of great things when we take precious care of them. You need to love your body, whatever stage it is in, and continue in the process.
Okay, so abs are probably one of the most wanted muscles in society. Guess what?! You have them! You were born with them! If you didn’t have abdominal muscles you would fold forward and never be able to stand up straight.
Now, strengthening your abdominals is very important for all functional living. Your abdominals (also known as your Core) aid in getting up off the floor, everyday balance, and are the literal center to everything you lift. We are constantly using our abs, we just don’t realize it until we do 100 crunches, then our abs are sore and we really feel them working!
Since we all have abs, why don’t we all have six packs? And how do we start developing and working toward that six pack?
Having a six pack does have a lot to do with body fat percentage, but don’t be fooled that all skinny people have six packs! You can have low body fat and have a very weak core! Trust me, when I struggled with anorexia and was 95lbs I did NOT have a six pack! Now I’m 115lb (eating carbs!) and have a six pack!
I’ll give you my food tips and exercise tricks that have helped me gain my core strength without starving and doing 1,000 crunches everyday!
- I eat to sustain my energy that is needed to exercise and live!
- That means, I eat frequently and have good quality foods. My meals and snacks consist of a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. I avoid all processed foods and high sugar foods. When I do treat myself, I do it in moderation (I like a good brownie and chips once in a while).
- I enjoy core specific exercises such as:
- V-Ups, Sit-ups, Russian twists, Leg lifts, Planks, etc.
- I still to go on Pinterest for ab routines
- Also CrossFit Athlete Kari Pierce did a lot of core challenges that I follow to have variety in my exercise routines.
- Gymnastic movements are very important for core stability and muscle endurance:
- Hanging knee raises; Toes to Bar; Hanging flutter kicks, etc…
- L hangs or Ring L sits
- As mentioned above, I said that the core is the center to all we lift. So when we do Olympic lifts or Isolated lifts we are constantly strengthening our core, that’s why it’s so important to lift suitable weight without a belt or anything that would aid our own stability from the core:
- Deadlifts, Squats, Snatches, Cleans, Push Press, etc.
- Z-presses, standing bent-over rows, strict presses, etc.
Building abdominal strength will take time and patience to stick to the process. If you stay committed to frequently fueling your body with quality foods and using that energy in the gym you will see progress to a stronger core!