Oezi or Finisher: Why it’s good to have a goal, priorities, a coach and a plan

A few days ago I was meeting a salesteam that I am coaching. We‘ve fixed some (unliked) activities to be done during summer time and we‘ve joined to make a review and to discuss the results. But there were too little activities and therefore almost no results. The answer was something like: „We tried but the daily business was hindering us from doing these things“. Then we did the following: We took the budget, made a monthly break down and found out, that we are even not on budget and that there are only a few months to go. The activities needed to reach the budget by end of the year were just a shock for the team. And all of a sudden everybody realised that this will be impossible now. Or, we might come there but we have to completely change the priorities and the way the work is done today. And we focussed on the following issues:

  • setting the individual goals for the end of the year and making a breakdown of this goal into monthly and weekly activities and smaller goals
  • defining the way how we are going to measure it weekly and what figures each of them has to deliver
  • setting the priorities in a new order, meaning the unliked came on top
  • challenging the way we are working with the time given
  • and we found some quick-wins to get motivated and started

Bringing this to sport? Exactly the process I am in 😉 After my post-marathon crisis combined with restarting after 4 weeks of holidays, followed by painful 4 weeks I had to refocus and to re-define the next months.


As a normal marathon wouldn‘t challenge me enough to change the way I am training today, I am every year looking for the next big (almost unreachable) goal within the upcoming 6 to 12 months. My next years goal is the North Pole Marathon at 90°N. A race that will challenge me on it‘s length, mental hardness and the physical demand for strength in my feet, legs and core. Followed by the Ironman Switzerland about 16 weeks later, which is for me about swimming and endurance.


The breakdown of this goal defines the following stages: stepping into a structured training again, get healthy legs, becoming stronger (pure power), increasing endurance and working on the special skills needed during the race (snow, ice, rough underground, snow shoes etc. and fast and solid swimming).


But how can I measure my progress and also push more pressure on getting the things done – „Have you done, what you had to do?“. At this stage my coach comes into the game. He‘s defining what I have to do week by week. And we both agreed that we‘ll start by now to walk this long road which will take us 7 months by now till 90°N. Each training will be recorded and logged into a training book, which we can analyse weekly, monthly and quarterly. Including the measurable progress I made. That means that the motivation – in this case my personal trigger is the physical progress – will follow step by step and leading me to „readiness“.


Going back again to training also means: setting the priorities. Less unused time, playing coach potatoe or doing things that are not dedicated to my family, my job or my sports. Goodbye: Surfing around, Facebook, easy working and avoiding coffee and cake meetings. And maybe the blog too?


Overall, the next 9 to 12 months are a short-time goal on a bigger roadmap. They will help to gain power and endurance to go for longer and harder races, such as Badwater and the North Pole Marathon Grandslam Club latest by 2020. Year by year, I‘m going to define a new and extreme challenge, piece by piece, until the puzzle is complete.

Coming back to our salesteam and the truth about why some will never reach their goals. As long as you don‘t have goals and there is no vital need to reach them – let‘s better say „no consequence when not reaching it“ – some will still sit on their couch, being convinced that there is enough time to meet the budget and to adapt to the new situation.  We also call this the manana syndrome. It will end up nowhere.

I know that I will fail at the North Pole if I am not starting my activities now. And I don‘t want to fail! Because to fail means: being the slowest among the other 24, not having enough endurance power, suffering around in the cold and in the snow, falling on the hilly trail, pain in the feet and not prepared to use snow shoes or to run in a snow storm … There are only two pictures in my head: Mister “Lost in the ice – Özi” and the Finisher.

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