Throwback Thursday: Old Grey Goals

old_school_sticks lacrosse
That's a nice pile of lumber!

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Joe Hart, aka OldGreyLaxer, back to the LAS Network! OGL picked up lacrosse a bit later in life, but has great perspective on the sport, and how it can be so much more than “just a game”. This week he’s talking about setting goals, and meeting them, even though he’s over the hill.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”– Bill Hogan.

What are your goals? We are not talking the top shelf where Grandma keeps the cookies or the “5” hole. I am talking who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you want to accomplish?

I drive my own kids bananas with all these questions, so I figured everyone else should hear it too.

I am 43 and I still have goals. You would think that I would be done with goals since I graduated from school, got married, have kids, a job that I like, etc. If I were satisfied with what I have done, the rest of my life would have the potential to be boring. In my mind I am going to live forever so that is a lot of boredom. So I still set some goals.

What is the process to goal setting? This is my grand scheme for goal setting:

  1. Be honest with yourself. Know your limitations/strengths, but don’t let that limit you in your choices. For example, I am okay with math, but I am not “good” with math, so Accounting or Engineering is right out. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like or do things that are technical or scientifical (I am a boiler inspector). I just don’t figure out the math for it.
  2. Know how you learn. Some people can read a book and get it, others need pictures, and some people need to use “hands on” and manipulate stuff. I am a picture and hands on person.
  3. How focused are you? I am a short-term goal guy. I have to set goals that can be accomplished in months. Why you ask? I don’t have the focus. I find so many things interesting that I get distracted. Think “SQUIRREL!” to a dog. One thing to consider when setting goals is, do you want to be an expert or a jack-of-all-trades? They say it takes about 10,000 hours of study of a topic to be considered an expert in that topic. That is 2.7 hours a day for 10 years. If your strengths and focus allow you to stick with one topic go for it.
  4. Have a plan. Talk to people about your plan. You most likely are not the first person that wants to be a Dog Whisperer so give Cesar Millan a call and pick his brain. Find out how he did it.
  5. Start. Don’t get paralysis by analysis. Don’t get caught up making the perfect plan, because life will screw that plan up the moment you start, but start you must.

One of my many goals is to be accomplished in lacrosse for my age and time in life. “But Joe” you say, ”you admitted that you don’t have the long term focus to do something like that.” This is true, but the beauty of lacrosse is that there is a lot to learn on many and varied subjects. There are attack, midfield, pole, and goalie positions to learn about.

Then there is offense and defense and how they all work, and work together, running plays, EMO, strength and conditioning and coaching, just name a few topics. There is enough info that I can move from one topic to another and make it last for years. I can come back around to a topic later on and continue to learn. Low and behold I might know a thing or two about lacrosse by the time I am done.

The take away is to have your goal, make a plan, break it down into parts that can be accomplished with some work, knowing what your limitations are and how to use your strengths and above all else do it.

If you are interested about life long learning here is a fantastic article “My Life as a Knowledge Worker” by Peter F. Drucker.

I am an old grey laxer. My age and treachery will get you… if I can focus long enough.

Make sure you check out the Throwback Thursday archive for more Old School excellence!