Set Yourself Up For Success By Preparing To Fail

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There’s a popular quote that I remember hearing in university “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. While this was a great motivator for me to study while in university, it doesn’t quite translate into life outside of school. Yet it got me thinking about preparing to fail, and how this can impact our goal setting. 

When goal setting we look at the positive things that we want to change and how we want to change them. We can take it to the next level by looking at what might cause us to fail and planning for it. This may seem counterintuitive but there is a benefit to understanding what might cause us to get off track from achieving our goals. 

Consider your goal; what might cause you not to reach this goal in the time period that you have set for yourself?  Injury? Skill level? Time management? Accountability or lack thereof? Resources? 

I have a personal experience with this. After graduating from university in 2019, I had the goal of completing a triathlon. I had set the goal and had started to train, but there were many things that I had not planned for. The biggest was the ripple effect that happened with covid that not only led to the cancellation of the race I had planned to participate in but also limited my time training with my training partner, closure of pools and gyms, limited access to other resources and recovery tools like hot yoga classes. What I learned from this was that I needed to create a plan to get back on track to achieve my goal. 

Things to consider when planning to fail is to identify the obstacles that will get in your way. Once identified, seek out the people, skills and tools that can help you face the obstacles. In my example losing access to gyms and pools meant that I had to set up a home gym that would allow me to continue training. 

Life has the tendency to get in our way, therefore planning for when life presents obstacles we can actually have success towards reaching our goals. If you are struggling to set up goals that lead to a successful outcome check out the other blogs that I have written about goal setting or reach out for additional support from me.

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