When you are a collegiate coach, you try to set lofty goals for your team. I have always been a big believer in making sure that those goals are not only “measurable”, but they are “attainable”. But just because they are realistic and attainable, it doesn’t mean you are going to accomplish them 100% of the time.
That’s why I decided to outline a few things at the end of 2019. Many of us failed to meet the goals we set out this year. And you know what – that’s perfectly fine.
If you’re in this situation as we wind down the year, or you anticipate being in this situation in the near future, answer the following questions:
Were you close to accomplishing a goal?
Did you do everything that you could to accomplish the goal?
In the process of attaining the goal, what was your biggest failure?
If you could change one thing about the process to attain the goal, what would it be?
These questions are really important, as they will help you evaluate what went wrong. But keep in mind, you could have followed the process step-by-step and given 100%, and you’re still going to have some unmet goals. It’s just natural.
Why do I say it’s natural to fail? To me it’s quite simple. When you set a goal, you’re trying to improve yourself and stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone. The whole premise means you’re going to struggle at times. Anytime there are struggles or obstacles in our life, we are more apt to fail, and we are less likely to succeed.
One final piece of advice that I would like to share – start the evaluation process immediately. Literally sit down with a notebook and a pencil and jot down all of your thoughts on why you did or did not accomplish the goal. That way, you can begin to craft the next phase of development in your life.
I’ve been coaching for 15 years at the collegiate level and almost 10 years at the high school/rec level. I can honestly tell you, that we have more unmet goals then met goals. I don’t consider myself, or those teams, a failure. I consider myself a lofty thinker and someone that believes in the potential of those that I coach. I’m always going to set lofty expectations and goals, and I understand we are going to fail along the way. You have to understand that too.
You can do this! I believe in you!
Chris Hardie is the Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach at Waynesburg University. You can follow him on Twitter @Coach_Hardie_WU or follow the team on Facebook at Waynesburg University Cross Country.