A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish | WODprep

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

After a recent girls night out, I told a friend that I would love to be good at doing my own makeup. 

My friend, listening to my comment, gave me a look and said something that made me smile.  

“If I thought for a minute that you gave a shit about your makeup I’d tell you to quit watching snatch slow-mo’s on Instagram and to go find some makeup tutorials on YouTube. I’d tell you to sit down in front of a mirror and practice for 15 minutes a day.”

OK, maybe I don’t want a flawless face that much. To be honest, when it comes to my beauty regime, anything longer than 90 seconds is an effort.

But the conversation got me to thinking. A wish is really just something that you hope for that could happen by chance, like winning the lottery. You won’t have to put any work into it, but if you get lucky, you’ll become rich just by walking to your nearest gas station.

What turns a wish into a goal?

How often have you said things like, “I’d love to be able to do pull-ups!”, “I’d love to lose two a few pounds/kilos!”or  “I’d love to have a six-pack!”?

crossfit fitness nutrition

That’s all fine and good - a lot of people in the world want those things. But the real question to then ask is, are you willing to put in the work to get there?

The difference between a wish and a goal is the effort (time, energy, even money) that you are invested into achieving it. One look into my pitiful makeup bag in comparison to my overflowing gym bag indicates which I value more, and where my goals obviously lie.

goals vs. wishes

I’d love to be a talented makeup artist without studying, practicing or buying any cosmetics. So I guess we can put this on the ‘wish’ list. Without the required work, wishes like these are about as likely to come true as my numbers coming up on the lottery ticket.

Believe in yourself (and your goal)

Next question: Is your goal still just a wish because you don’t believe it can be achieved?

I’d love to win the lottery… yet I don’t buy a ticket. Why? Because what are the chances? I don’t believe that it will happen, and the results of the lottery itself is fully based on luck - not effort put in. Because of that, I conclude that it’s not a good use of my time to try to achieve this massively unrealistic dream.

Do you feel like this about your wishes? Is that why they’re still wishes, and not goals?

When you’re ready to move from a wish to a realistic goal, oftentimes all it takes is for someone to say, “You CAN do this” for you to take that first step towards something you never thought was possible.

Try looking in the mirror and saying it to yourself. People all over the world are overcoming crazy obstacles, every day. Have a little faith that you can do the same.

From Fitness Wishes to Goals

Take a minute and run through your fitness goals in your head.

Are they still wishes, or have you actually penciled them in as your goals? Are you willing to put the work in towards them? Do you have a plan, or someone to help you make a plan?

Let’s take pull-ups for an example. I would venture to say that hundreds of thousands of men and women around the world currently wish they could do pull-ups.

Yet we all now know that wishing isn’t going to get us anywhere, so the reasonable next question is…

What’s your plan?

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I HOPE you’re not just standing under the pull-up bar, wondering about the day it will finally come. Building strict pull-up strength can be a long, tedious process, yet is completely possible when you have a structured plan in place to follow a few days a week. 

(By the way, we have a really great plan for that. If you’re working on strict pull-ups and need some direction, sign-up below!)

Get the "Ultimate Strict Pull-ups Guide"

When what you think you want and what you actually want are two different things.

What do I mean by this?

You say to yourself, "I want Six-pack Abs". Instead try saying "I want to be disciplined with my nutrition to make sure I am in a calorie deficit, yet still maintaining an active fitness routine."

The second one sounds a heck of a lot less sexy, but it's exactly what needs to be done. It's reframing the goal to embrace the "grind" required to achieve the goal, not just saying ""I want [end result]."

So, try it on for size. What will achieving your goal require? What will "the grind" look like?

Then reframe your goal to reflect this.

Here's an example of something like strict pull-ups, which we've been talking about a lot lately.

"I want to get my first strict pull-up." (Results-focused goal)

Turns into...

"I want to consistently practice my vertical pulling strength several times a week following a dedicated plan that uses a variety drills. I also want to make sure I'm optimizing my weight, which means achieving a lean physique which will support my pull-up goal."

This is a process-focused goal, which is ultimately (with time) going to get you to your BIG dream/goal of that strict pull-up.

Motivation vs. Discipline

Very often when people chase after their goals, others look on in envy, wishing that they had the same motivation. Wishing they had some of that discipline.

Here’s the thing... the goal is the motivation. The discipline comes naturally when you want something enough. But if you don’t have the motivation, then maybe it’s not the right goal for you. Because at the end of the day, a coach can give you the programming, the encouraging words, and the direction…. yet it’s pretty hard for a coach to give someone motivation. No one can force another human to WANT to do something; that’s something that has to come from within.

With every boring minute you spend on mobility, or every cookie that you proudly refuse, or every challenging pull-up negative that you perform; you’re one little step closer to reaching your goal. That’s motivation. That’s exciting!

crossfit goals

So once you have that plan in place, celebrate the small wins along the way, and quit stressing that you’re not at your destination just yet. Time will pass and before you know it, you’ll look back at your starting point from weeks/months/years ago, and be amazed at how far you’ve come.

So what are your goals? Or are they still just wishes?

Have questions about how to get to your goals, or how to get a plan in place? Comment below, and we can help you out!

About the Author Shona

Sho is a CrossFit® Level 1 certified Trainer, graphic designer and mom of two. She's participated in several CrossFit® competitions and has more recently taken her love of Olympic Weightlifting to another level, competing at the Scottish Championships in the 53kg category this past February. A WODprep team member for over a year now, Sho is the creator behind all of our awesome stick figure drawings (and much more).

  • Juan Corredor says:

    Thank you so much for such a fun and well written article. Love the clarity of you writing and the drawings help to visualize and convey the message. Thank you again.

  • Tina Alsup says:

    I seem to be getting worse endurance-wise quickly. I am trying to lean out, right now, so I won’t have extra poundage to carry when running or doing gymnastics in WODS. Even before starting a fat loss cycle I was having trouble with fatigue in WODS. Should I add sprints or longer runs for extra work? How do I increase my stamina?

  • Commandoswede says:

    One of my goals and my biggest hurdle, is to feed my body what it needs. I know pretty much how much to eat, but I suck!!! at making recipes. I’m trying really hard to create food that I like and can eat every day. It needs to be simple enough but still good. I am trying but I will never excel in the kitchen. Limitless numbers of coaches offer nutrition plans but most of the time it is just how much protein and so on you need to eat. If I have one big goal, it is to find a working mealplan. Great article by the way. Gave me some thoughts.

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