Having goals to focus on is crucial for self-development. Whether those goals are financial, emotional or physical, they help to guide the process you follow to reach them.

At Roark we programme classes towards different goals throughout the year for our members, but you must have your own personal goals to truly appreciate what the body is capable of and how diverse, given the time, it can be. It’s important to also keep in mind the fact that in order to achieve one very specific goal, you will have to sacrifice other areas of your life. You cant, unfortunately, have it all.

At Roark we believe in making goals specific, measurable and achievable. These three points are never easy to measure and the decision you take shouldn’t be taken casually. You need to be honest about where you are physically and what your goal is in relation to this. Once you know, then it can be as simple as a statement of intent. “I want to deadlift X number of kilograms by the June 9th.” “I want to lose four kilograms in eight weeks.” Once the statement has been made, the process can begin. The process, however, won’t be as simple – especially if your goal is going to push you right to the limits of your capabilities.

Once you have made your decision and the goal has been set, accept the fact that other areas of your training are going to take a dip. Using a half marathon and bench press as as an example – if a sub 1 hour 30 minute run is your goal, and your previous best time is 1 hour 45 minutes, then in order to take the 15 minutes you desire off of your time, the amount you could previously bench press will drop. Why? Because in order to improve in a very specific are (running, in this case) your focus will move from training your upper body to training your legs and learning to breathe better (and as such your bench press press will have to be sacrificed).

Achieving a physical goal that you knew would take a lot of work is a feeling that hopefully everyone gets to experience at least once in their lives. I’m talking about a physical goal that impacts a person on a number of different levels – where ultimately you change yourself for the better. I don’t mean on a simple, high fives all round type level, but rather a genuine emotional and psychological shift deep within.

If you are willing to commit wholeheartedly to a goal that will test your limits, I can assure you that the experience carries over into your life outside that practice – the way you approach the working world, how you deal with stressful situations and the way you view and treat others. That moment when you look back at months of conscious goal hunting effort, and you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say, “I did everything I could and I made it.”

Have you ever truly had that feeling?

If not, its time.