New Year, New Goals
January is always a busy time for us a Positive Kinetics, once the new year begins and the Christmas festivities quickly fade to a dim and distant memory, thoughts for most of us turn to the year ahead and what challenges or goals we might set for ourselves. At this time of year we’re always busy in the Kinetics Lab helping people plan for the upcoming season, plot how to go further or faster in their racing and competitions or look at how to complete a completely different challenge altogether. Right now our Wattbike is clocking up some serious miles as triathletes and cyclists aplenty undertake some baseline testing to kick-start their new training programmes and help monitor their improvement.
Undoubtedly the most successful athletes, whether they be Olympic champions or weekend fun-runners, the ones who will meet their goals most often will be the ones who have a clear and well thought out goal which they can always return to when the going gets tough. So I thought I’d use this blog to talk a little about goal setting to help those in need of a little direction for the sporting year ahead.
So first things first, no matter what your goal ends up being, you have to believe in it. It has to be something that you personally want, not something that you’re just doing because your mates like the sound of it, and you have to believe you can achieve it. Whether you’re trying a new sport or want to go improve in your existing field, a positive mindset is the first piece of the puzzle. The goal may seem a little out of reach at first, but that’s ok, that’s what the training is for, but it’s the belief and the desire to achieve that will keep things moving during the inevitable harder days of training ahead.
Once you know what direction you’re headed in you then need to choose a realistic goal and define your pathway to get there. You may have noticed earlier that I said your goals may seem a little out of reach right now, that’s absolutely fine and they should seem that way, however if you’re goal is unrealistic and beyond your potential then things will soon start to unravel. This does not mean you shouldn’t be ambitious however! Take account of your life commitments such as work, family and friends and you’ll be left with a picture of exactly how much training time you have left in a week or month. Use this to help you gauge what you’ll be able to achieve in the upcoming season. Can you move things about to allow for training time? Do you want to? All these things have an impact and need to be considered.
And now we’re almost there. By now you should have a good idea of an outcome goal. Want to finish your first 10K run at a particular race or win an entire race series? Great. So how are you going to get to that point? Once you’ve got your concise, defined, achievable big goal you then need to identify a series of process goals which will act as the stepping stones to get you there. Your training plan may well cover an extended period of time so you’ll need smaller goals to help keep the motivation, build confidence and work on the key things to achieve your bigger goal. For instance, if you want to average a higher race speed on your bike then you must practice building up race intervals to the right pace. Other things like getting the right coach, adding gym work to your routine or dropping some weight might also feature in there. Whatever they are they should all help move you a step closer to your end goal, build your confidence and enhance your belief that your goal is getting ever closer to being within your grasp.
Your success come race day is directly correlated to your passion for, and belief in, your goals. Write down your big goal for the season, identify the processes that will get you there (and the people if necessary) and keep that bit of paper safe somewhere. If you ever question why you’re doing all this training at a later date, go get that bit of paper and remind yourself what it’s all about. Success will usually follow!
Good luck with all your challenges and goals for 2015!
And as ever, stay Positive.