If you have not already noticed, we are starting another round of liner progression strength work this week at CrossFit DoneRight. After the overwhelming success of the last cycle, it wouldn’t make sense not too. What at times must have seemed like minor rigged increases in weight in the five weeks prior, manifested itself in week six as an explosion of PRs across the board including a few gym records along the way.

The success of that programing got me to thinking about how we program the rest of our lives to succeed in such a tangible way. After some consideration I concluded that it all comes down to how we make, work at, and eventually achieve our goals. CrossFit clearly provides plenty of examples for this process , however, today I’m going to use the deadlift, not as an example, but as an allegory, for the goal setting process on a wide scale. Lets get lifting.

The deadlift all begins with your set up. The same is true with goals. When you are placing your feet for a deadlift you want a strong stance, shoulder width apart, heels grounded for maximum force leverage. The same principles can be applied to when you are setting your mind to a goal. Make sure your goal is clear and concrete, an idea that you can and should write down. Don’t make your goal too vast or narrow either but instead aim for that solid middle ground which poses a challenge without being impossible.

Keep your knees back, shins vertical, and hips up. These cues for the deadlift help set up your bar path as you pull through the movement. We can think of the deadlifts bar path like we do the small incremental steps in successfully achieving any goal. Rather than taking one big swing at a challenge, it is better to chip away at a goal, celebrating each step along the way. I’ve always turned to the story of Simon Yate’s from “Touching The Void”, a mountaineer who was lost and assumed dead after falling into a glacial crevasse. Yate’s recounts how he survived not by focusing on getting back to his warm bed but rather by constantly making small attainable goals like dragging himself ten feet forward to the next rock. Three days later Yate’s crawled back into his base camp nearly delirious and with multiple broken bones, he made it through the ordeal one step at a time.

Maintain a strong back and lumbar curve throughout the movement. Just as many people miss their deadlift because of poor back support, many of our goals are missed because we don’t use the support systems around us. Almost no one in this world achieves anything by them selves. It is essential to use the support of those around you. Whether it be coaches, co-workers, friends, or even strangers at times, true goals are achieved by teams working to support an individual. Like a strong back, the support team helps bare the load of the task and keep the individual safe and positive throughout the process. So set your back up, find your team.

Big chest, head up. Positivity can be the essential difference between achieving a goal and falling short. Just like during a deadlift if your head is down and chest collapsed, a defeated stance, you’re never going to make a lift, when chasing your goals if you fixate on the negatives rather than the positives you’ll only go backwards. Celebrate the little victories, slip ups are going to happen view them as an opportunity to learn rather than a reason to give up. And always look ahead, while each small step is important don’t lose track of your big goals in the process. Always be aware of what you’re working for.

Now that your set up the only thing left to do is succeed. 3…2…1…GO!