There is saying that we’ve all heard: Go Hard or Go Home. I actually know someone who has GHGH intricately tattooed on her wrist. While the intention of the message is to motivate and drive performance, Hard is a relative term. Going Hard is an experience where you give your best, you push your current limits and you finish the task or challenge knowing that you gave it every last ounce of effort you had.
This begs the question: where does the advice that “Something is Better than Nothing” fit in? And, can these two opposite approaches work together? I think so. If you know what you are trying to accomplish.
Setting your personal goals and understanding your personal motivation for accomplishment is critical to your success in improving any area of your life.
There are some circumstantial situations where your Hard might also be just Something. You need to be flexible and analytical with your plan for success.
The rigidity of your plan depends on the type of goals you have set.
completion vs. podium
compete vs. train
be active vs. exercise
learn vs. master. (This is me in the kitchen… my goal is just to be proficient and not burn the house down. I am not seeking master chef status)
With your goals in mind you need to evaluate what Hard means each day.
Are you in peak form after a rest day and ready to push for a personal best?
Are you on day 3 of maximum effort sessions and running go the risk of fatigue leading to errors?
Have you experienced a set-back that requires an adjusted approach today? Maybe some grounding, remedial work to get things back on track?
Are you days away from a goal marker that warrants a full attack today or do you need to back off to get your best when it matters?
With your specific goals and personal circumstances of the day in consideration, it’s critical that you set your expectations for Hard each day and then execute at your best. Ask yourself what action will have the greatest forward impact on your goals. It’s a very rare occasion that your answer will be “Nothing”. So, choose Something and Go Hard at it, give it your best.
Spending 90 minutes stretching and meditating may not be in anyone else’s books as “Going Hard”, especially if you are training for a marathon. However, giving every effort to the details of your flexibility session and the focus required for meditation may be the Hardest task on your training roster if you love to run and hate slowing down. This 90 minute remedial session may allow you to Go Hard tomorrow while your competitor is nursing an overuse injury and forced to do Something or Nothing.
When you are committed to your goals, Nothing is never an option!
So, when you’ve set a goal, you’ve built a plan and you’ve evaluated your circumstances you better do Something that will yield progress towards your goal! Whatever that Something is, Go Hard or Go Home.