• Rally
  • Set Your Goals Like a Pro

Set Your Goals Like a Pro

By Melvin Gordon | October 15, 2018 | Rally Health

It takes more than raw talent to make it in the NFL.You can’t just be the fastest guy on the field; you also have to put in time focusing on things like nutrition, sleep, injury prevention, and maybe most important, the mental side of your game. I spend time every year before the Los Angeles Chargers' season starts thinking about my goals –– what I want to achieve in football, as well as goals involving my family and other parts of my career. Here’s how I do it:

Set both big and small goals

Some of my goals, like winning the Super Bowl, are reach goals. Others, like the yardage I want to make during the season, are more concrete, immediate goals. Both are important: You want to have goals with different timelines, some that you can achieve this month, some that you can achieve over the year, and some that may take a lifetime. It’s good to have that variety. The short-term goals keep you on task on a daily basis, and the long-term goals give you motivation and help you see the big picture for how you want your life to go.

Pro tip: Make a list of goals now, or if you already have a list, add timelines to it. Do you only have short-term goals? Think about what adding up all of them could look like as a long-term goal.

Watch: Set Your Goals Like a Pro

Don’t stress if you don’t hit your goal right away

I set some goals repeatedly, like winning the Super Bowl. I obviously haven’t achieved that yet. But I don’t think, “I didn’t make it, I should give up.” Instead, I use that goal as a good reminder to refocus, to look back on how the year went, and maybe make some changes to my routines and training so that next year, I can come closer to that goal.

Pro tip: Are there any goals or resolutions you keep setting year after year, but never manage to actually achieve? Take a look at those goals and see what you need to change to start making them happen. List each goal, and then list several smaller steps you can take to move closer to your goal. That might mean going for a walk today and searching online for a six-month training plan if your goal is to run a marathon by next year.

Don’t stress if your goals change

Sometimes you’re going to hit roadblocks. I’ve dealt with a lot of injuries that stopped me from hitting my goals for the season, and I needed to shift my focus to recovering instead of counting yardage. That’s never fun, but rather than let it get me down and just watching that old goal slip away, I try to make new goals that serve me better right now.

Pro tip: Are any of your old goals — or last year’s New Year’s resolutions — out of date for where your life is right now? Rewrite them!

Share your goals

People may think my goals will just be about football, but I also set goals for spending more time with friends and family. I have a goal to have a family of my own someday. And I set goals for the camp I host for young kids, the Melvin Gordon Football Camp in Kenosha, Wis. I think we sometimes get too wrapped up in work-oriented goals and we forget that our personal lives could use some direction as well, so don’t be afraid to add personal goals to your list.

Pro tip: Look at your goal list right now. Is there a part of your life that’s completely left off? Think about adding a goal or two in that area.

Know that you can be anything

I always tell the kids who come to my football camp that they can do whatever it is that they set their minds to, whether they want to play in the NFL, be the best auto mechanic, or write a book. Whatever their dreams are, they can achieve them. That’s why I started this summer camp. I want those kids to know that nothing is impossible. I think for some of them, it’s the first time someone has believed in them. As an adult, I know I have to believe in myself — and that can feel hard to do if you’ve never thought you were capable of something big.

Pro tip: Take a few minutes and just let yourself dream like you did when you were a kid. What are your big reach goals now? Can you start working toward them? What are a few small steps you could take now to make those dreams a reality? Let’s say you always dreamed of playing in the NFL: Is there a local league you could play in for fun?

Melvin Gordon is a Rally® Health Ambassador.

Melvin Gordon
Rally Health