Tis the season for New Years resolutions, making commitments, trying something new, and setting goals. You have had plenty of time to take a step back from training and reflect on the year as a whole to assess the good, bad and the ugly. Now it is time to move forward into the next season with a renewed passion, clear head, and attainable goals. I have gone back and forth year after year about writing down my goals-not only in life, but in triathlon also. Should I do it? Or it is just a waste of time? I have come to the conclusion that goals help you know where you are going and guides you on how you are going to get there. Tony Robbins sums it up well in saying: Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Many sports physiologists use SMART goal setting as a template for athletes. Instead of vague resolutions, SMART goals help identify strengths & weaknesses, opportunities for improvement while outlining guidelines to help carry out the goals and provides measuring progress and success.
Specific: What do I want to accomplish and why? Be very specific and clear in the goals that you set for yourself.
Measurable: How will I know I am making progress and how can I track my progress along the way? Goals have to be measurable so you can chart and track progress, benchmark and analyze. Modern technology makes this easy to do.
Attainability: Can I break the goal into smaller, manageable pieces that use the time and resources available to me within the timeline I set? Establishing performance goals that are too unrealistic is one of the most common mistakes. It’s important to realize how much you can really improve.
Realistic/Relevant: Is this goal relevant to the bigger picture? Where does it fit within your other goals? Although you want to pick goals that challenge you to push your limits and take your athletic status to new heights, they must be reasonable.
Timely: What is the end point? You absolutely must set a deadline, otherwise you still don’t have a complete goal. Without that target, you have no means for developing a road map to success.
I would challenge and encourage all of your to write 2-3 SMART goals and share them with your coach over the next week or two. It may be just want you need to realize the extent of the training you are about to undertake or the race you signed up for.
I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants. ~Zig Ziglar