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Is it worth setting goals? According to Forbes Only 8% of people stick to New Years resolutions but are these really goals?

At the beginning of this year I set myself a goal of running 1000km in 2018. For me this would mean a huge increase having only run just over 300km in 2017. I’ll share more about this later on …

 

What is a goal?

Goals

The definition of a goal is …

“An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.”

There are millions of books and training programmes on goal-setting but why is it so important?

The challenge with new year’s resolutions or a lot of our goal setting is it’s too big or not specific enough. How many times have you had the following discussion in your head?

“Right, that’s it. Tomorrow is where it all starts …”

  • No more bread/sugar/alcohol
  • I’m going to exercise every day
  • I’m going to be “good”

These are just a few examples. We will often either be too vague in our goals “I’m going to be good”. What does this actually mean? By when? How are you going to make it happen?

Or we’re too tough on ourselves with no flexibility. “I’m going to exercise every day”. What happens if we’re ill or there’s a family emergency? Have we failed? Do we then give up?

Another part of goal-setting that I believe is so important is our “WHY”. Why do we want to achieve this goal? What will it give us? How will we feel when we achieve it? By having a clear why it helps us to re-focus if we go off track.

My Running Goal 2018

As I said at the start, I set myself what was a big goal for me – running 1000km during 2018. I’ve been tracking using this trainer:

Running Goals

I’m currently at 350 km for the year so far. For those mathematicians amongst you, you will be able to see I’m off track. So why am I sharing this with you? For me, having set a goal, it has given me a focus. I am getting myself out of bed and running when I might not have done before. I’m being flexible with this goal (so when I was poorly in February I accepted I couldn’t run). It would have been easy for me to give up, but I didn’t. I looked at the goal and readjusted. If I want to hit 1000km by the end of the year I now need to try and hit 25km average per week.

Steps to Successful Goal Setting

A couple of week’s ago we looked at our self-talk and how setting goals can be used as part of that positive self-talk. Read our blog “You Are Enough!” Here are some simple steps to follow to successful goal-setting

  • Identify what you want to achieve – ensure your goals are SMART
    • Specific
    • Measured
    • Achievable
    • Realistic
    • Time-Bound
  • Find your why …
    • Why is this important to you?
    • Why do you want to achieve it?
    • How will you feel when you do?
  • Plan
    • Ensure you have a clear plan
    • What actions do you need to take to ensure your reach your goals?
  • Barriers
    • What barriers might stop you from achieving your plan?
    • How can you try and eliminate or anticipate these barriers?
  • Flexibility
    • Be realistic and build in some flexiblity
    • Life happens and it can easily take us off track
    • Lose the guilt – if you’re off track re-evaluate and make a new plan

I’m still working towards my goal and I may still achieve it. A huge achievement already is that I’ve run more in 2018 than I did in 2017 and it’s only July. If I’d not set this goal I don’t think I would have. I’ll keep you posted!

Related Articles:

Self-Talk Blog

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