It’s my favorite day of the week! Tri Talk Tuesday! I love that Courtney, Miranda, and Cynthia are hosting this and letting me link up on their pages! This week, the theme is “goals”. I specifically wanted to talk about how to SET goals for yourself! You’ve probably heard of the SMART goals system. Well, it pertains to athletic goals just as much as it does any other goals, so here we go.
S for Specific: You want to set very specific goals for yourself. Along with that though, you want to set more than one specific goal. For instance, you don’t just want to say “I want to qualify for Boston this year”. That’s a great goal, but what if you are an hour off the qualifying time? Try setting a few goals so that if you don’t hit one, you can at least feel accomplished about the others.
M for Measurable: Your goals need to be able to be measured somehow so that you can see you’ve accomplished them. For example, instead of saying “I want to run better this year”, specifically identify how you will measure that. Will it be based on a 5k time? Will it depend on how many miles you can run at a time? Will it be how many times you get out the door compared to last year? See what I mean? Measurable. Identify how you will measure it so that you can’t weasel yourself out of the goal you had in mind.
A for Attainable: Yes, you want to set goals that are challenging, but if you have no chance whatsoever of attaining them, you’ll only feel defeated. I suggest maybe having one high, lofty goal, and then having a few that you’re sure, with work, you could accomplish.
R for Realistic: This kind of fits with attainable, but I usually look at it the opposite way. Instead of giving yourself a super easy goal that you know you’ll make without even trying, make it a goal that is realistic given your current (and projected) fitness.
T for Time-bound: You want to set goals and give yourself specific end-points that they need to be achieved by. This keeps you from letting yourself off the hook. If you want to improve your 5k time by 30 seconds, give yourself a target date! This also motivates you to work harder; or at least it motivates me to!
So, given this, what are my goals? Well, my main goal this year is to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in one of my three planned half Ironman races this year. This goal in itself isn’t very “measurable” because there is not a specific time or place I need to get in order to qualify. My chances depend on how well I place in my age group and overall in a given race. However, to give myself a more measurable goal, I’ve set another one which is to complete a half Ironman in 4hrs, 45 min. This is both a realistic and attainable goal because it is about 25 minutes off my PR (I’ve only done one Ironman 70.3 so far), BUT I’ve improved in all three events, AND I have more experience this year. To make this goal more attainable, I’ve signed up for two Ironman 70.3 races (one of which is the same as last year), and I plan to sign up for a third. If I don’t reach either of these goals, I won’t be devastated, because I’ve set one more: to PR in the Ironman 70.3. For my third goal, all I have to do is have a better time that last year, and I’ll be happy.
So what do you think of my goals?
What goals do you have for this year?