— by Angela Naeth

Plans have little to do with execution and real life. They have much more to do with making you feel like you have a sense of control – which in life, you have zero control of.

After a year that started in shambles, I’m able to reflect with bewilderment and a pretty large smile on my face. In 2018, I learned more about myself – the relationships in my life, who and what really matters to me, self-advocacy, determination and the amount of stubbornness I have.

Related: Angela Naeth: From barely being able to walk to eighth at Kona

My season and goal of getting to Kona were built on a whole lot of unknowing, and “let’s see what happens” attitude. Which brings me to the topic of how to analyze your past season and set goals for 2019. What did you learn? What can you improve on?

Angela Naeth racing at the 2018 Ironman World Championship. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

To look at your past season and reflect takes a bit of time. I try to look at my year as a whole, and not just separate my triathlon races from the other areas of my life (work, career, family, etc.).

I then look at two simple questions:

  1. What are three things I did well?
  2. What is one thing/area I can improve on?

I do this for my entire year, in triathlon (swim, bike and run) and the other areas of my life.

Angela Naeth out for a run in Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Once I look at the above two questions, I then take my answers from “What is one thing/area I can improve on” and use those as my focus for setting goals for the new season. This not only keeps things positive, but it creates goals that you are motivated to achieve.

One big caveat is that plans are not finite. My past year took me on a whirlwind, but I kept my goals in site.

The path to reaching your goals may not be straight, but be flexible and focus on the process — one day at a time.

Angela Naeth is a Canadian professional triathlete with multiple sub-9-hour Ironman performances and 30+ podiums at the 70.3 and Ironman distances. Recently, Naeth finished eighth at the 2018 Ironman World Championship. She has also created a women’s triathlon/cycling community in 2017, IRACELIKEAGIRL. Growing in numbers, IRACELIKEAGIRL gives Naeth the ability to support others in the sport of triathlon.

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