Why set goals?
Goal setting is important to get the best out of yourself. Achieving progress is very difficult within having a goal to look towards.
By setting a goal, you create accountability to work towards the task. It is useful to help get you started and to overcome procrastination. Having a goal provides a way to measure your progress.
Goals can come in all shapes and sizes and are key to enabling us to endure. A classic example for me was completing university. The focus was on getting to the end of each year, to chip away at the four-year degree. Before I knew it, I’d achieved my degree. It’s a little similar to signing up for a sporting event. To finish is the goal, which creates accountability to show up and do the work (aka motivation).
Finding something that challenges you, but is still within grasp is the key. Too big a task and the goal will seem totally impossible, resulting in you potentially not starting. 5% is a great place to start. For example, if you currently run a 21min 5km (or parkrun), making a goal of running 20mins is a goal which will require some work, but isn’t too much of a stretch that it seems outside of reach (IE it’s achievable). If you achieve the goal sooner than later, add another 5%.
How to make goals?
Goals can be whatever you can dream them to be. What makes you excited? Finishing your first triathlon, completing an ironman, or even just running 2km each day for 2 weeks.
1. Grab a pen and paper and write it down. Physically writing/typing out your goals is a critical step. Create space for you to think about what matters to you, don’t rush this process.
2. Refine Goals. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goals template to help refine your goals.
3. Review your list. Are they meaningful to you? Are you still excited to achieve your goals? Be sure to share your goals (creates more accountability) and regularly review them (keep them front and centre in your mind).