The important thing to understand is how to go about setting those goals. My coach asked us a few weeks ago to send her our goals for 2014. I thought about it for a bit and wasn't getting very far. So I decided to Google "How to set goals?"
I came across many different sites and I looked at a few different ones. However, after searching for a bit, I found this list on mindtools.com which was exactly what I was looking for and helped me to define my goals for this season.
1. Set Goals that Motivate YouWhen you go about picking a goal for the season, year, or another period of time, you need to make sure that this goal is important to you. If you aren't invested in the outcome, then when there are tough days, you will quickly lose motivation to push yourself through a difficult time. You need to be able to be committed in order to succeed.
For any who has a fitness goal and me in particular, this cannot be overstated as many times you will have to be up before the sun rises for one workout and be finishing another one after the sun has set. When you feel tired/unmotivated on a particular morning or night, is your goal/desire enough to push you through these tough days? If it is, then you have chosen wisely.
Unlike this guy...
2. Set SMART GoalsEveryone has most likely heard of SMART Goals, but for me this was one of the most difficult parts of the process for me.
· Specific: This part wasn't too difficult. Picking specific goals as a triathlete is pretty simple as most things are based around times, races, etc.
· Measureable: This is important for calculating progress for these times, races, etc. Again, not too difficult due to the fact that everything is this sport is measured in some capacity even simply finishing
· Attainable: This was easily the most difficult part in the process for me. What is it possible for me to attain at my current level of fitness and the level of fitness that I can achieve with good training and a coach this season. I have only been doing this for 1 year, so I am a bit behind in the process. This was where I had to consult my coach to see what I can realistically do based on my swimming, biking, and running ability.
· Relevant: Again, not difficult. If your goal, is to become a faster triathlete then being able to bench 300 pounds isn’t necessarily relevant to your goals.
· Time Bound: This was applicable for almost all of my goal except for one which is my ultimate end goal for all of this.
3. Set Goals in WritingThis was another thing that my coach encouraged us to do. Put it in a place that you can see every day. This can help you to find the continued motivation to keep going.
4. Make an Action PlanWrite out the individual steps and cross each one off as you complete it. This can help you to see progress. The larger or more long-term the goal is, the more important this part is.
5. Stick With It!I don’t think much needs to be said about this one. If you set a goal to do something, then DO IT!
After reading this, here are my GOALS:
1. Qualify for the 70.3 World Championships(I would accept a roll down although I would rather make top 3 AG to do it)
2. Have a sub 2:30 Half Ironman Bike
3. PR every race distance
I put the biggest goal first, because it is the one that is most important to me. Do I think that I can qualify this season? So much will depend on how far I get in the next few months in the water and on the bike. I will do all in my ability to make this happen; however, I am realistic enough to know that I am in a tough AG and this may have to be an ongoing goal, but why not DREAM BIG.
The second two goals are very attainable and have no bearing on who is at the race. I am excited to see how far I can go in a full year with a full year of structured endurance training and a coach.