“All my career, I’ve looked forward to someday. Someday I’ll be the fastest kid in the city. Someday I’ll make the National Team. Someday I’ll go to the Olympics. Someday I’ll be World Champion, maybe even Olympic Champion. Someday I’ll be written in the history books as one of the greats. However outrageous and audacious, I fully believed that this first-generation Filipino-Canadian kid from south Calgary could accomplish anything as long as I worked harder and smarter than the competition. And, well, why not” (excerpt from “Someday” by Gilmore Junio)
I recently wrote a blog post titled Someday where I talked about my goals: the fulfilled, unfulfilled and undetermined. From an early age, I saw first hand the value of goal setting; as immigrants, my parents put in long days at work, followed by the infinite pursuits of my siblings and I. Their goal was to provide their family with a better life than what they had growing up. It seemed that no matter the cost, physically and financially, my parents pushed to provide us with the tools to succeed. In return, they held us to a high standard, a standard that has permeated into almost, if not all, aspects of my life. My parents wanted the best for us, so I began dreaming of the best.
Growing up, I learned the value of goal setting and dreaming big but it wasn’t until I was in high school that I was taught the “science” and importance in goal setting. My sport psychologist introduced our class to the concept of SMART goals. Goals were to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time limited. Having these metrics provided the skeleton, meat and muscle to dreams and ambitions. In creating SMART goals, you were creating the direction of your focus and intention and as I began to progress through my speed skating career, that focus and intention manifested itself into process and execution. My long-term goals provided a detailed outline of how I should align my short-term goals and although achieving the long-term goal was the end game, moving through short-term goals created a momentum and ferocity in my pursuit.
Goals were to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time limited. Having these metrics provided the skeleton, meat and muscle to dreams and ambitions.
In sport, we talk about marginal gains – how the accumulation of little wins turns into massive victories. When I first made the National Team, my coach would always say WIN, he even had it in big bold letters at his desk. I thought “Of course! That’s the whole point of sport, to win!” but what he was talking about went beyond just winning and losing. I quickly learned to remain sane in the pursuit of excellence, I needed to recognize what’s important now and control only the things I could control. It’s that cliché of “being in the moment”: committing your mind to the process of what you need to do now, without any influence of anything else. Consistently doing that creates momentum and progress in those marginal gains.
As a high-performance athlete, the thought of not being good at something always creates some level of anxiety. Nothing captivated my will and drive quite like the pursuit of being a good speed skater. I love photography and would love to take amazing photos, but right now, my will isn’t committed to that. My will is committed to grinding for three hours in the weight room, having legs that don’t fit into regular pants and being the best speed skater I can be. It’s being fully immersed in that goal that provides the heartbeat to the dream.
So where do you see yourself in 10 years? How about 20 or 50? What are the moments that you want to define who you are? Create something vivid and meaningful and work backwards to where you are right now. That is the start of your vision.
Now start creating that world, step by step, piece by piece and create your someday.