Monday, December 29, 2008

Setting Goals

The transition from one year to another is a completely arbitrary point in time, yet here we are at the end of December and preparing to enter the New Year. At this time, all of us make resolutions to improve and do better. Sometimes, when we are truly brave, we look back on our past resolutions and goals and sigh.

The new year in a way for me is a New Year, as I was born in very early January. From a training perspective, I've always tried to reflect on the past year and look for improvements when I can. Sometimes I pick a small detail to focus on, or have a larger goal. On year, I decided I was going to lose 20 pounds, and I did it. Unfortunately, I've packed it all back on, so it's back on my list.

What I found successful was to write it all down. It's an extra commitment. For me, putting my pen to paper and writing my goals is a true irrefutable statement. Notice how I used the terms "pen" and "paper" rather than blogging, tweeting, or starting a Word OpenOffice document I'll never open again.

Some of my training goals are very physically oriented, as you can imagine. For example, I've made it a goal this year to be able to do the splits. This has no other purpose than be able to finally say I can do it again (Not since I was 17.) Others are simply a continuation of a longer quest. In this case, it is my goal to create a comprehensive curriculum surrounding the staff that culminates in free sparring. Not necessarily full contact in the style of the Dog Brothers, but to build a curriculum that builds to sparring, similar to our empty hand curriculum.

So how does this relate to technology? As it turns out, there are some great tools out there for making and keeping to your goals this year.

Trying to lose some weight? Weight Watchers has an online-only (no meetings with old ladies complaining about how guys don't have to work hard to lose weight) version of their program that lets you track everything you eat, as well as exercise, forums and recipes. From there, maybe you'll want to share your successes and missteps with the world by posting to your blog using skinnyr. I've even done this on my site, as you can see.

Maybe you just want to set some goals. 8Goals has a nifty online interface for adding goals and keeping track of progress. You may also enjoy FitDay if your goals are more fitness oriented. Other ideas can be found here.

Good Luck!
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