A goal should scare you a little but excite you a lot

I’ve recently re-evaluated my running goals as part of a change in program in the hope that my 12 month rut will be broken with a new PB. It took a lot of reflection and time for me to understand where I am at currently, where I want to go and how to balance my own running goals with a busy family and the responsibilities in my professional life.

Here are 4 things that I learnt that might help some other RMA’s in their goal setting journey.

Be Realistic

Map out what your broader life looks like, not just running but what else you have on and what can be achieved in the time that you have. This includes reflecting on what sacrifices you can make and what parts of your life are not negotiable. Prioritise what is important with what a realistic training schedule would look like.

Challenging but Achievable

If the goal doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. Big dreams are wonderful but in goal setting there needs to be short, medium and long term goals. Yes I want a Boston qualifier. Is that possible this year? Probably not with my other commitments, but I will continue to work towards it. What is achievable for me is trying a 10km race within a certain pace range and adding speed and hill sessions into my program on a more regular basis. A bigger longer term goal broken into smaller goals or steps becomes a plan.

Be Accountable

Write your goals down, tell your coach, tell your partner, tell a friend. Be accountable to meeting your goals and be willing to make sacrifices to achieve them. For me interval training is not fun. I love to run and run long. I would rather run 36km then do 5 sets of intervals. For me I need to be accountable to someone to make me go out and hit my interval session weekly at the set target paces. Find someone you can be accountable to.

Review and adjust your goals

Writing down you goals is great but reviewing and analysing why you may or may not have achieved that goal and re-setting new goals will bring you closer to where you want to be. Put a date in your diary to go back and review what you set to achieve. Be it after your next race, 3 months from now or 6 months. Give yourself the opportunity to reflect on what you have achieved and what you can work on to be better. Self-reflection is not always easy. It’s not easy to analyse your own shortcomings and do something about it. It is not easy to try to be a better version of yourself but it’s what life is all about.

I’m hoping with a bit more focus and direction I will be writing my next article on smashing my PB.

Happy goal setting RMAs.