1) Realistic – don’t limit your goals, but do make them realistic
2) Attainable - Your goals should be challenging but attainable
3) Measurable – Don’t say you want to run faster, but say you want to run a 28 minute 5k
Another important aspect of goal setting is to make the goal challenging but realistic. Say, for example, your current fitness level allows you to run a 40:00 10k off the bike; the chances of you running 33:00 is not very likely in a season’s time. By no means do I mean you should limit your goals, but they have to be realistic. One of the strategies I follow when goal setting is to set myself up for a few slam dunks along the way. Currently my fitness level tells me I can swim a 14:10 for 1,000 yards. My first swim goal of the new season will be to swim 14:00 for 1,000 yards by December 1st.
Your goals should be challenging but attainable. If you can’t reach the first set of goals, how will you ever reach the harder ones?
It is said that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Another idea would be tell some of your close friends what your goals are. It is my opinion that if you step up and say your goals out loud, they are likely to come to pass. The more you hear them and see them, the more attainable they become.
One of the most important aspects of goal setting is making your goals measurable. Your goal could be to “run a 28:00 minute 5k” but it shouldn’t be to “get faster.” We all want to get faster in a relative sense, but we should put ourselves out there and say what we mean, and mean what we say.
Lastly, and this is an obvious one, but your goals HAVE to be positive! Your goal should be to finish the race in this “x” time, but it shouldn’t be “not to be last.” Always think of goals in the positive: “I will run the whole run” or “I will not miss more then 2 days of training per month”
Remember goals should be realistic, attainable and measurable. Additionally, under your control, they must be written down, and they should be positive!