As with any journey you plan, it is quite hard to do if you have no idea where you have to start from, even if you have already defined where you want to end up (your Outcome).
When we define our goals it is easy to fall into the trap that so many motivational speakers and coaches push, saying that "You can achieve anything you put your mind to".
That is not quite true. Let me give you an example.
This week was my first day back in the gym since South Africa went into COVID-19 lockdown. My optimistic goal is to be back at my target lean-weight of 95kgs (209lbs) by end of December. I am not exactly overweight, and in fact, I need to add the extra few kilos of muscle while shedding some COVID-flab. A realistic target wouldn't you say?
If however, we consider "where I am now" that goal becomes less and less achievable. I have been given a few warnings by my doctor about not being a spring chicken anymore and needing to pay serious attention to my diet. This means I am avoiding supplements. All of them. No pre-workouts, no cutting aides. No creatine... Nothing. It has also been a solid 6 months of inactivity, save for a few inconsistent morning walks. My fitness level is at it's absolute lowest it has ever been.
So even though I have a clear worthwhile goal (specific measurable outcome, within a set time frame) with a can-do attitude, having limited time to train each day, and not being able to use supplements to speed up recovery, makes the journey from where I am now, to where I want to be slightly impossible.
The same would apply if you decided to learn Italian in three months. If you do not have the mental capacity to do so and have no access to any material to learn Italian or any other language for that matter, your journey is greatly impacted.
By understanding where you are today, is the starting point. Do not be discouraged when the gap seems insurmountable! We simply need to understand our reality (sad as it may now be) so that we can ensure when we decide our outcome - which we will discuss in the next post - we know exactly what realistic and actionable steps we can take to achieve that outcome.
Set some time aside in the next few days and assess your current situation. List the resources you have available to contribute to achieving your goal. This includes finances, access to knowledge, your own abilities (if they are not up to scratch, you will develop them), and so forth. Keep in mind that time is one of the greatest and most important resources we have (or do not have enough of). Be critical and honest with yourself, and do not look at the list as obstacles that will prevent you from achieving your outcome. See them as defined stepping stones in your "toward outcome".
In our next post, we will look at setting our outcome, and we will start seeing some structure in the process