5 Simple Steps to Setting Goals

Follow these 5 simple steps to setting goals and get it right the first time!

  1. Gather goal setting tools - Starting with a print out of this page...Steps to Setting Goals!

    How does the following short story sound? You sit down to set your goals. Need a pen, where is a pen? Let me clean up this desk. The phone rings – I better pick it up. Sound familiar? We can be really good at procrastinating when there is something that we think will be difficult or uncomfortable. We rationalize that trivial matters need our attention and let ourselves get distracted. In no time at all, you’re busy doing something else and the days/weeks pass while we’re not even out of the starting gate.

  2. You should gather some or all of the following tools before you sit down to decide on your goals:

      Get your Hands on a Template – you don’t need a template, but it’s an easy (and free) way to organize your short and long term goals. Don’t like the ones here? Use them to tweak and make your own or simply view them to help you go through the mental exercise.

      Calendar – good goals have timelines and specific dates attached to them. Goals always seem easier when they are 6 months away. At the same time, 6 months can go fast when you don’t start training. Start with longer term goals for the year and work backwards. For example, if you have a spring marathon goal, pick your event date. Then, you can work backwards on the calendar 3 weeks and select a half marathon race that falls on that date as your peak training run before your taper. You can also plot various short term goals throughout training such as 5 and 10k runs to keep you sharp and motivated throughout the next 5 months.

      Race Prediction Chart – once you’ve gone through step #3, you’ll need something like this prediction chart to help you set realistic yet challenging running goals.

      Pace Calculator
      – this is another tool to help you figure out realistic yet challenging goals. Plug in your running time goals and the calculator will show you what pace you will need to average to meet that goal.

  3. Put Time aside to Set Goals – many folks never get out of the starting gate. Usually an ideal time to set goals is during Christmas holidays – many have some time off from work, and opportunity to reflect on what worked in past, and start anew. Schedule time to sit down, follow these steps to setting goals properly and really apply yourself.
  4. Most importantly … THINK!!! – Of all the steps to setting goals listed, don’t underestimate how critical really stopping and taking the time to think is. How do you know what the right goals are for you? They should excite you and scare you as well. Envision yourself achieving your goal. How does it make you feel?
  5. Publish and Post - It’s vital to program your goals into your subconscious. Repetition and daily exposure to your written goals is also very motivating as it reminds you why you run after a long day of work or why you drag your ass out of bed early to log some miles when it’s still dark.
  6. Share with a Support Group - There are some who believe that your goals are just too personal to share arbitrarily with others. However, sharing your goals with others also helps to solidify your commitment by adding some accountability. Be selective with whom you share your goals. Pick those who you feel will support your endeavor and if possible others who have taken your journey. The world is full of ‘average Joe and Joannes’ who are content going with the grain and living a completely risk-free life void of taking chances. You have,/i> to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and achieve great things!


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