Goal setting, we have all heard of it. For sports, particularly triathlons, goal setting is so important to having success. You are able to set goals for training, fitness, your transition, the season, a particular race and even a race years down the road. But goal setting is not just reserved for your hobbies, your aspiring age group triathlon career or your well being, its part of a lifestyle and incorporating it into your daily life.
There are many nemonic’s out there to breakdown the task of goal setting. One of the most popular is the SMART goal setting set up. SMART stands for, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For your goal you want to make sure you hit these five points. Below we break down each point;
- Specific: develop a goal that targets a certain area of improvement. The more specific the goal, the more direction you will have when working towards that goal.
- Measurable: how are you going to measure the completion of this goal? What is going to be a marker/indicator of improvement? This point is largely quantitative. However, for more subjective goals, like technique for example, have a tool that can ‘mark’ achievement (i.e. observation, video, etc.).
- Attainable: is the goal acceptable based on you abilities, skills and current progression? Think about the time needed to achieve goal, other priorities, abilities, resources, etc. This point brings up the importance of a team, people that can encourage you to keep moving forward.
- Relevant: is this goal relevant to your other goals? Does this goal move towards a more long term goal? Have you been achieving other goals, and goes this goal fall in line with it?
- Time-bound: make a plan when you hope to accomplish goal. Another idea to make sure you stay on path to success, is create points ahead of time to assess progression. For example, John wants to run sub 3 hours at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. As he works towards his goal, he will have points in time where he will do a test race or time trial of different distances at his goal race pace to assess where he is at.
Setting a few goals is great, but to really unlock the potential of goal setting and success, make a plan. Have multiple short term goals along the way, as you work towards a bigger long term goal. These short term goals will keep you accountable and motivated. Also look to work towards a common goal with a friend, family member, team member or co-worker. The people around you is a source of influence and motivation, so don’t be afraid to share your goals with them!
So whether you are looking to set a new PR in your next Ironman, training for your first triathlon, or looking to adopt a new healthy habit, goal setting is the start of success. Take the time and set your goals!