Goal Setting: Planning Your Year


January 24, 2012 by Darlene McC

Okay, so we’ve talked about goals – and specifically why they’re more useful than resolutions for actually improving your life.  Hopefully by the 3rd week of January you’ve sat down at some point and thought about what you want your year to be like.  Oh, you haven’t?  Grab a pen and a piece of paper and try this:

Close your eyes and spend 3 – 5 minutes just thinking about who you want to be on Jan 24th, 2013.  Do you want to shave 5 minutes off your 5k time?  Do you want to be able to climb the stairs without huffing and puffing?  What about your job?  Everything that pops into your head write down.  What aren’t you happy with?  What makes you happy but you wish you had more of in your life?  Write it down!

Those things right there, those are the little idea nuggets that spark change.  Now think about your life as it is right now and use those ideas to set up some SMART goals (remember: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive).

Next, make a plan.  Break each one of your new goals into smaller and smaller goals until they no longer feel impossible.  A good micro-goal is something you look at and think “okay, I can handle that”.

Good.  Now you’ve got some goals; some things you know you want to change.  But one of the biggest problems for people when setting SMART goals is the T: Time-sensitive.  They just can’t answer for themselves one big question: when!?!  When will you hit that goal by?  – and as they start trying to answer the question of when the excuses and “reasons” start popping up (reason is just code for excuse, right?).

“I can’t give up drinking this week, I have that work dinner.”

“I’ll start my diet tomorrow, mom’s making ravioli tonight.”

“I don’t have time to get my run in, I have too much to do.”

“I’ll work out tomorrow, I feel like I’m getting a cold.”

“Its only one day of eating cake.  Cake is okay just for one day” (yeah, one piece today… one tomorrow… one on Friday… one on…)

You know who you are!

But now you’ve got some goals on a sheet of paper…so get out your calendar too and pick some WHENs.  Admit to yourself that sometimes the whens are going to shift, but for now you need some targets.

My 2012

Yes, okay, I’m going to talk about myself for a minute.  While some of my goals are just that, mine (meaning private), I have quite a few I’m willing to put down “on paper”.  Here goes:

Sprint Distance Triathalon

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years but always thought “I couldn’t”.  This Amazon has long-held the belief that I have a body that wasn’t built for cardio… I think it’s time I proved myself wrong.

The Hudson Crossing Triathlon in lovely Schylerville, NY will be my proving ground on July 10th.  Keep your heart-rate monitors close at hand, folks.  Could be a doozy.

Tough Mudder

If you’ve never heard of one of these insane races I strongly recommend you head over to http://toughmudder.com/.  The video causes me to have some… “reactions”:

Yeah.  That’s how I get my jollies.  I have a few friends who claim to be in for it, but we’ll see if they actually show up.

July 14th = pain and beer.

My First Fight

Yeah.  You read that right.  The head of my kung fu school and I decided on my birthday in 2011 that it was time for me to train for a fight… we’re shooting for Oct.

Planning the Year

So when 2012 hit I knew I wanted to do these three things; but the big question was when.  So I sat down and considered my current state of fitness and what I needed to achieve in order to reach each of these goals safely and effectively.  For the tri I need cardiovascular endurance; something that trains up quickly but is lost as easily.  For Tough Mudder I need friends, cardio, but also agility and strength.  For the fight I need short-burst anaerobic endurance, strength, and technical skill.

Given that I need time to build up my join strength through resistance training and enough time to work on my technical skills I’ve opted to do the fight last.  5 months is plenty of time to get myself ready for the tri (especially because I work at a gym with a pool), and the Mudder is just going to fall somewhere in between.

That’s how I planned my year.  Now it’s just time to get to work!


3 thoughts on “Goal Setting: Planning Your Year

  1. Becky McCullough says:

    Thanks for the practical and specific advice about making positive change. I’m trying it today. Keep the advice coming

  2. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  3. […] you’re not doing… then lets talk about that.  (If you haven’t set any goals yet head over here and take 5 minutes to get started… I’ll […]

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