Setting realistic goals for the year ahead
It's a new year and a time when many people look to focus on on making changes for the year ahead, write down resolutions and take the first steps to making changes in lifestyle, diet, fitness and more.
You’re more likely to succeed if you recognise that making changes needs a longer and broader term view across everything you do, so it is a good starting point to look at where you are currently, and then use that as the benchmark to measure your change. The goals you want to be setting for yourself need to be achievable goals for a 3-6-12 month period.
Being close to the start of a new year, this is an ideal time to get your ambitions down, and if you set them well, you'll be able to keep tracking them as you progress, and don't let them fall by the wayside.
Exercise and fitness is just the same as other areas of life in that you have to put in the hours to become proficient and you have to accept that there is NO QUICK FIX.
You won’t magically become super fit, super athletic and/or strong, but if you set realistic goals, you will be able to monitor and see the progress you are making along the way and be able to see the overall gains.
Here are our tips for goal setting..
- Give yourself a realistic number of goals: between 3 and 5 is the recommendation and if you can look at both performance goals and development goals. A performance goal is where you are focussed on achieving a result A development goal is where you are developing skills and competencies that will help you achieve other goals.
- Be realistic for your starting point.. don’t make things difficult for yourself by aiming too high, too fast, or conversely, too easy straight away…
- There are a number of ways to help you define goals - I’m going to use one that is also popular in personal and management development.
SMART Goals :SMART means it is:
- SPECIFIC - well defined, describing particular actions and you are clear on what the goal is.
- MEASURABLE - the objective can be measured in quantifiable terms and you are able to detail what successful achievement of the goal will look like.
- ACHIEVABLE - The goal is realistic based on your skills and experience and the time and resources you have available in the time allocated
- RELEVANT - the goal should add value and meaning together
- TIMED - the goal should have timescales of what is required, when and have an appropriate sense of urgency.
Learning from 2018
I failed in one of my goals for 2018 - Last year I was hoping to run a marathon PB.
I always knew that the Crossfit focus isn't complimentary to pure running, but I was really enjoying it in Spring?summer and as a result I started my race training plan a little late. I was able to build up pretty quickly, but was always slower than planned and then to top it off, I got a minor injury and didn't actually race at all.
While this was a setback it was great learning.
1. I realised I had forgotten how much I enjoyed my running
2. I appreciated that I can't do everything at the same time... to reach a running goal, it has to be the main focus, with complimentary work.
3. The ambition to run an Ultra is still with me..
So.. after a long think about it, (starting in October 2018) here are my goals for 2019…
- Complete a 100km Ultra over 2 days (Race booked in July 2019!!)
- Create a personal training plan by the end of January for the Ultra that is mainly a running plan, but includes cross training using Crossfit principles (from the book Unbreakable Runner).
- Continued from 2018 - Manage my personal nutrition plan eat a more balanced diet to support my training and get lighter and leaner
Have a go at writing them, using the following 4 tips... (I've shown how it relates to my goal 1)..
1. Include the deadline (End of Jan)
2. Include a measurable standards of successful performance (A 100km Ultra)
3.Include the specific goal of the action (In 2 days)
4. Write the action verb that describes what is to be achieved. (Complete in the Crossfit Open)
The measures I will be using for each goal are:
1. Finishing the race : Race to The Stones
2. A fully written up training plan (and then the subsequent execution)
3. I will take my measurements on Tuesday 8th Jan and then follow my nutritionist tracking.