Quote of the week “A goal without a plan is just wish”, so is a resolution without a plan.
Productive and sustainable New Year’s resolutions/goals can help guide your training in a positive direction. The pandemic has taught us that racing is not a guarantee. I believe those that had performance, outcome goals, were disappointed relative to those with process goals.
When creating your goals, follow the SMART goal acronym and create process goals that will positively impact your outcome goal
- S –Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-Bound
Goal setting is about creating healthier habits and can evolve. Dialing in how much and how frequent you eat daily, or just before, during, and after training, Recovery includes when and how much you eat pre, during and post training, what time you go to bed and wake up. Give yourself a chance to adjust to any change that you make.
You can’t control your finish time or place. How you place in your age group depends on who shows up. How well you finish within your goal time is impacted on your mental state, weather, sleep and nutrition. I encourage you to set process goals with your nutrition, strength and recovery, an overlooked aspect of training that you control.
The benefits of strength training include assisting in technical development, delayed fatigue with endurance, improved posture, improved muscle imbalances, increased metabolism, improved bone density, stronger tendons and ligaments which default to injury prevention.
Sleep and whole food nutrition are the two most important components with regard to recovery. Without enough sleep or nutrient dense food consumption, other recovery protocols like massage, boots, ice baths, etc are not as effective if you skimp on sleep and eating well.
An example of a SMART strength goal is to add body weight movements like glute bridges, clam shells, squats, pushups, planks (Specific, Realistic and Attainable) since you don’t need equipment, 2 days a week for 20 minutes (Measurable) for the next month, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (TimeBound) .
An example of a SMART nutrition goal is to eat 3 fruits and veggies / day, at least 3 days a week (Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Attainable) for the next month, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (TimeBound). Or to consume 50 grams of carbohydrate per hour to any workout lasting longer than 90 minutes (Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Attainable) for the next month, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (TimeBound) or consuming a meal consisting of whole grains, veggies, lean proteins within 30 minutes after a training session lasting longer than 60 minutes, for the next month, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (TimeBound)
An example of a SMART goal to achieve more sleep is aim for 8 hours of bed time and set an alarm to go to bed a 10pm every night and wake up at 6am at least 3 days a week, schedule allows (Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Attainable) adjust time so that it is realistic and attainable for you to get in the habit of 8 hours of rest every day for the next month, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (TimeBound).
Other Goal Setting Tips:
- Tracking your SMART goals in your training log will allow you to look back and see how far you have come or what you need to adjust, and how any changes are impacting your training and performance.
- Anticipate set-backs – don’t get discouraged if you get off track. Determine roadblocks that may keep you from reaching your goal and make a plan to get around them.
- Set your own goals for yourself. And, follow your training plan, not someone else’s.
- Be positive and passionate about your goal.
- Evaluate your goal every month and re-set as needed.
The final thing to remember when it comes to achieving goals is to get started. Goals can change, so establish clarity around success and failure. That is why breaking your goals into habits and process goals is so important.
How will you reach your goals this year? Share with us on our Facebook group.
Ask yourself if you’ve gotten better. Are you stronger, kinder, and wiser than you were before? “Happiness = reality minus expectations”
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