Goal setting is important but you have to give yourself time to actually do it!
If you do not take the time to sit down and think about what exactly you want to achieve in the New Year you are not giving yourself enough opportunity to grow! Today I'm going to give you a step by step guide on how accomplish goal setting as a runner and have included a downloadable worksheet for you to use to set your goals and refer back to during the year!
1. your top priority. Is your top priority to finally run a half marathon (or marathon!) this year or maybe you simply want to make running a lifestyle where you go out and run 3 times a week for health and recreation. Goals and achievement is all about vision. What do you WANT to do?
2. Ask yourself WHY this is your top goal. Make it specific. Powerful. Something that will motivate you. It should not be a halfhearted goal. I talk about defining your "why" a lot because it really is a game changer and can definitely keep you on track with your goals.
3. Figure out your timeline. Think about how long it will take. Plan in for rest time and extras. Divide your year into quarters (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). Focus on a goal (smaller priorities) for each of those quarters. Looking at a whole year as one big picture gives you the illusion that you have a lot of time and so you might put off actually starting on that fall marathon training. What you want to do is be pro-active with your year. If you break it down into manageable periods of time and set goals for those periods of time you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish and improve! Once you have your yearly quarter goals figured out then go ahead and make smaller goals for each month.
4. Ask yourself HOW you will need to go about accomplishing your top priority. Don't say you can't. Ask yourself HOW you CAN do it. Don't jump the gun. Think and reflect. How can you go about it. Who's going to get you there?
5. Once you figure out the HOW and the WHY ask yourself what you NEED to accomplish this goal. What running gear do you need? How can you set yourself up for success? Do you need clothes? Shoes? Running log? A training plan? Resources? Make a list.
6. Think about your expectations and figure out your pain points. Thinking about where you might run into motivational problems, injury, finding time, etc. Identifying those issues that might come up and setting your expectations for how you will feel and how you will deal with them will go a long way in helping you make realistic goals and achieving them!
7. Schedule in your planner/Google calendar/etc. appointments with yourself to review your goals and see if you need to make any adjustments.Schedule in the steps to help you achieve your goal for the entire year. If you are using a half marathon or marathon training plan then it could be as simple as scheduling in the plan into your calendar.
8. Get it done. Not just your top priority but be disciplined about taking all the steps along the way. Nike's right. Just do it. Make the commitment and follow through.
You can download your Goal Setting Worksheet for Runners here to help you work through and decide on what your goals are for this year, how you will accomplish them, what your timeline will be, etc!
The best place to start if you're not sure what fitness/running goals to make is to:
Test your fitness level! If you are wondering where to even begin with your goals for the year then a great place is to start with a fitness test. From there you will be able to set realistic goals if you know where you are starting from! The best fitness test a runner can take is a Vo2 test.
I explain all the details behind your Vo2max, have you take a fitness test and then help you see where you fall on the range of fitness levels in Train Faster + Smarter. From there you will be taken to calculators that will help you determine what your training intensity and paces should be if you are looking to run a marathon or the half marathon. The best part is that you can use the fitness test and calculators over and over again with any new training plan, new year, or new training cycle!