Why set goals?

The only one who can tell you “you can’t” is you.  And you don’t have to listen.  -Nike

Goals are an important part of our life and are a measure of our progress toward where we want to go.  Many times, we think about setting goals at the start of the new year, sometimes due to reflection of the past year and analyzing what we’d like to change or do differently.

Do you have goals that you have set for yourself?   Or, are there things that you want to accomplish, but maybe haven’t formulated into goals yet?   You won’t know if you’re on the right road if you don’t know where you want to go.

goals are important

why set goals?

Goals are important for a number of reasons, whether they are personal, work-related, or fitness-related.  Successful goal-setting helps us to define what it is specifically that we want to do, and then how we plan to accomplish it.

Is your goal to get more exercise?  Run a faster 5k?  Eat healthier?  Lose a few pounds??

An article from TheExtraGear.com mentions why goals are important.  For athletes, goal-setting can be an important part of a training plan, whether a goal is to improve in physical skills, mental skills, or just to get more enjoyment out of a sport.  Setting goals helps athletes focus on what’s most important to them.  Goals provide motivation for them to stick with a plan, to  consider new strategies to accomplish said goals, and assist in tracking progress.

Things to keep in mind when setting goals:

  1. Set the right kind of goals.  For goals to be effective, they should be specific, measurable, and realistic.
  2. Set short term and long term goals.
  3. Make goals moderately difficult.
  4. Pinpoint target dates to achieve your goals.
  5. Create strategies to achieve goals.  How do you plan to achieve your goal?
  6. Write down your goals.
  7. Share your goals with others.  They can support you and your efforts.
  8. Track progress and be flexible in changing your goals, as needed.

I mentioned some of my goals for the foreseeable future in one of my previous posts, one of which is to run a marathon, and at some point qualify for Boston.  Being as that may be more of a long-term goal, I’ve been planning more short-term goals to help me to get there.  So, for my more immediate goals:  I want to drop a few pounds; I’d like to get faster at running a 5k; I need to buy some bike shoes so I can put clips on my bike and learn how to ride without seriously injuring myself; I need to swim more on a weekly basis; and, I’d like to improve my sprint triathlon time by 15 minutes.  All of these things are doable (at least in my head), but I need to formulate an action plan and get into the specifics of what I want to accomplish and how.  Then, I’ll have a better sense of how flexible I will need to be with my goal-setting (item #8 above)!

So, that’s what I’m working toward.

What are your goals?  Let me know and keep me posted on your progress.  🙂

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