As we wrap up 2017, its time to take stock of the year’s accomplishments and think ahead to the challenges 2018 will bring. Taking time to plan your goals is important, you need to establish what you want to achieve and doing this in a rush will leave you with unrealistic and unobtainable goals that don’t align with what you really want for the year.
Remember…. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work” Colin Powell.
My top tips for goal setting in 2018:
Be realistic but optimistic
Set goals that are achievable, there is nothing worse than feeling beaten down by something that is beyond your grasp.
Aim for realistic goals, but be optimistic when setting these.
If you want to shave some time off your running PB's map your progression over the last 12 months. Did you manage to take 5 minutes off your Half Marathon PB in the last 12 months? Aim to replicate in a way you feel is manageable, but remember the faster you get the smaller the margins. in 2017 I wanted to break 22 minutes for my 5k PB. With my current PB being 22:21 that just hasn’t been achievable in amongst my half and full marathon training. No goal is too small and going forward I’m simply aiming to beat 22:20 for my 5K- a PB is a PB.
As the year progresses so will your running and what is important to you.
I never set a goal of doing a half marathon, but choosing to pursue this brought me so much happiness last year and a whole new love for those 13.1 miles. Don’t forget, keep your goals in mind, but don’t be afraid to make new goals during the year!
Don’t compare your goals or achievements to those of others: so what if someone is smashing a sub 40 10k or sub 2 Half? When making your goals step back from those around you to an extent. Draw inspiration from others but never compare. Setting a goal and achieving it is a very personal.
Set short, medium and long-term goals and align these to what is achievable in each time frame. Work back from your long-term goals, set these as the ones that need a bit of work and need more time. Use your medium term goals as a stepping-stone to the long term and use your short term as mini motivators to kick-start your passion!
Put some giving back in your goals
Remember to focus outwards as well as inwards. Whether that’s running for charity, volunteering at Parkrun or helping at a race. Seize the chance to give something back.
Wipe the slate clean
If you didn’t achieve something last year don’t necessarily carry it over to 2018. It’s not a sign of failure, goals are not prescriptive, but if you haven’t achieved something, consider how much you want it and how realistic it is and if it doesn’t tick those two boxes review / amend that goal.
Remember failure does not exist, take the positives of what you have achieved - whatever hurdles or setbacks you face when seeking to obtain your goals are all part of the journey. Embrace the challenges.
Don’t be disheartened
There are 365 days in the year and those goals will need some work, typically you will only start smashing those goals from summer onwards.
Be prepared to put the groundwork in for the first 6 months of the year. This is why your short-term goals are important- they will keep you feeling like you are moving forward. Remember it takes 6 months to build a Rolls Royce.
Hopefully that will help set you all on your way to a happy, healthy and successful 2018.
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