What is your purpose?

For the next few weeks, we are kicking off a multi-part series on optimizing your performance training pathway. Each post will cover one aspect of performance that you are probably not always thinking about. It is easy to focus on the hours you spend in the gym or practicing your sport. That being said, there are more factors that provide meaningful fuel for performance. 

This series was prompted by a simple graphic on a whiteboard. A few months ago, I was presenting at a gym in Dallas, TX. This gym had a large open space for group classes and then a more intimate training area for 1:1 and small group trainings. On the whiteboard, I saw this:


This is such a simple graphic that really hits home. I love training. I love getting up early, getting after it, and pushing myself to be the best I can be. However, training is such a small piece of the overall equation of life. Performance, health, or fitness require more than just a singular focus. The ultimate pathway requires a holistic approach.

Training starts with purpose!

Without a purpose, your training will not thrive. Without purpose, you are left exposed to the effects of training speed bumps, bad days, or anything that tries to trip you up. 

For this exercise, grab a blank sheet of paper and list out the numbers 1-10. Write down 10 training, health, or sport goals you would like to achieve in the next year. 

The next step is to sort these goals into categories of “individual” or “community” goals.

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An individual goal is something you want to accomplish for yourself and does not directly impact family, friends, or your surrounding community.

Example: “I want to complete a triathlon, as the discipline gained will help my overall health improve.”

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A community goal is something that you want to accomplish but you also see the impact it will have on others you associate with on a regular basis.

Example: “I want to complete a triathlon, as the discipline gained will help my overall health improve. This will allow me to be a more active presence in my child’s life as my health and fitness will not be a limiting factor during activities.”

Why is this an important step? 

I strongly believe that purpose has to include a combination of individual and community goals. Without community goals, you are lacking attachment to a piece that is bigger than what your accomplishments will mean if they are just for a party of one. Without individual goals, you are lacking pieces that are deeply rooted to what you want for you. I’m all for selflessness but training requires a piece of ownership that has to be unique to you. 

After completing this exercise, you might start to notice some trends or themes with your goals. Take note of these. You are finding your training purpose. 

Keep in mind, your training purpose does not need to be to win Olympic gold. Your training purpose could be as simple and as powerful as losing 10 lbs, which leads to achieving better sleep, which leads to more daily energy.

You do not have to make things complex. You do need to have a training purpose. 

Bo HickeyComment