Goal Setting for 2017
Goal Setting: Starting 2017 off with a Bang!
With a new year brings new challenges. New year resolutions are always met with the best intentions but often fall short within a few weeks of starting and unfortunately we fall back into the same old habits and routines. Whatever your 2017 goals may be, lets address a better way of attaining them instead of just talking about them only to be a distant memory once we roll into February.
Goal setting is term used often with athletes in preparation to achieve personal best/records. It’s the sequence they program their training sessions in order to ensure a podium finish. However, there is no reason it cant be used by everyone to help you drop a dress size, lose 10kgs or even run your first 5 km race. Instead of having a big goal hanging over your head, rather break the goal into small chunks or blocks which are far more attainable than having a deadline that can be daunting.
Lets look at an example of road runner wanting to shave off 10 minutes off their 10km run within a time frame of 16 weeks. If our runner’s current 10km best is 60 minutes their pace would be 6 min/km. By the end of 16 weeks, the runner needs to be running at 5min/km to finish the 10km in 50 minutes. So let see how we can goal set this to be a more achievable goal:
Let say after every 4 weeks of training they will test their 10km to see how they are progressing. We can now break down the 10 minute improvement into 4 mini goals of 2 minutes and 30 second improvements after each month.
Thus after 4 weeks they need to run the 10kms in 57 minutes and 30 seconds, after 8 weeks – 55 minutes; 12 weeks – 52 min 30 sec and finally at the end of 16 weeks – 50 minutes.
Putting this into pacing terms, after 4 weeks the average pace must be 5:45min/km; 8 weeks – 5:30min/km; 12 weeks – 5:15min/km. Essentially every 4 weeks the average pace needs to improve by 15 seconds per kilometer to stay on target.
We can take this further by saying each week the average pace improvement needs to be just over 3 seconds to ensure we meet the target of 15 second improvements every 4 weeks. For some this will seem like a far easier target to aim for instead of just trying to run faster and to hope they reach their goal.
Having a measurable goal allows you to track your performance better allowing you to monitor your progress which in itself has a motivating element to keep your eye on the prize!
If we took weight loss and applied the same goal setting principles as above, trimming the fat becomes much more manageable. If you wanted to lose 10kgs and we set a realistic time to achieve this such as 6 months, we can goal set our weight loss into mini goals of 1 kg loss every 2,5 weeks.
10 kg loss X 2,5 weeks = 25 weeks (6 months and 1 week). This is a very achievable goal for anyone wanting to lose weight and because the weight loss is gradual, the likelihood of the weight staying off is more certain and in all likelihood you will hit your target before the 6 months are up!
In summary, if you continue the process of breaking down your main goal into smaller mini goals and give yourself a time line and NOT a deadline to achieve these smaller mini goals then you will have a far better chance of achieving the main goal. Additionally, through achieving these weekly or monthly mini goals, you will be motivated to continue as you will have become accustomed to the habit of winning which will keep you on track with your main objective!
Lastly, a top tip to help you stay on target to achieve your new year resolutions is to keep your goals visible. After writing down your goals and mini goals, place them in highly visible areas so that you see them everyday. These areas can be on the fridge, in your car, at your desk even as reminders on your phone. Having constant visual reminders will force you to action your goals instead of forgetting about them as soon as they were spoken. Keeping yourself accountable through these reminders will help you stay on track and not let your willpower slide into a mindset of “I’ll do it tomorrow”.