Take a moment to think about just one thing that you can do now that you never imagined yourself capable of years ago. I’m sure that you can probably think of at least one. It’s even quite probable that you can think of far more than that.
The point of that exercise was to highlight how difficult it is to accurately perceive what our limits are. Just because something seems impossible now doesn’t mean that it will be in the future.
That’s where challenging goals come into the picture.
They are goals that require you to expand your ability in order to achieve success. It doesn’t even matter what the goal is, All that matters is that it is difficult enough that success will require that you change for the better.
I’ll give you a quick example.
Sometime ago, I decided to challenge myself. The goal was to compete at the No-Gi Pan at a lower weight. It worked out to be a good challenging goal because it had certain components.
There was a firm deadline because I had to make weight before competing. Also the definition of the success and failure was clear and unambiguous.
I succeeded in that goal, but if I had failed, it still would have been beneficial. It was my first time cutting weight. The lessons I learned from the process were invaluable.
Also the mere fact that I was willing to take that risk and take it that far shows me that I can do it again.
It simply goes to show that challenging goals that motivate you to act in the present can take you further than you ever thought.
What You Can Do
For Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, some of the best challenging goals are physical in nature. For example, increasing your range of motion in certain muscles or mastering specific techniques or movements.
Those are two quick examples, but if you notice, they have a common link. Success or failure with those two goals are entirely within your control.
You control whether you succeed or fail, and you’ll reap benefit from the effort you put towards success.
Even with challenging goals that you can’t entirely control like winning tournaments or belt promotions, the effort is the most important thing. The effort you put in day in and day out are improving you in ways that you may not realize.