Have you ever set goals and then not achieved them? Did you have the best of intentions to do something about them, yet somehow, did not get there in the end? Maybe you started something yet got side-tracked with work commitments, kids and other family responsibilities?

Well, you are not alone and are in good company with many athletes! To help you stay on track and keep you going, the first step is to clearly identify what it is you want to achieve, before exploring your motivation and making a detailed plan as to how you are going to get there.

This article will help you set your goals so you do achieve them.

Why clearly define your goals?

The key to achieving your goals is to use a process that provides a starting point for action, a map as a guide and a focus to direct your efforts.

Having clearly defined goals helps to keep you on track knowing where you are heading. Your goals provide a focus and direction for all your actions and then having a plan will give you a clear indication for the steps you need to take and by when.

Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, an assessment as to whether they are realistic and then consistent work to make it happen.

Many women simply say ‘I want to do a triathlon’ or ‘I want to get fit’ or ‘I want to …’. Yet, without clearly defined goals, and a clearly defined plan, other priorities may get in the way. And yes, child and family responsibilities are important, however, can arrangements be made so you make the time to do the training. Maybe you could share child-care arrangements, or perhaps you could bring the kids to your races and make a day out of it.

Those first steps

So, when setting your goals, it is important to set realistic yet achievable goals. If you have never exercised before and never done a triathlon, start with an ‘easy’ goal such as a super-sprint triathlon just to get a sense of what it is like.

The most effective way to set your goal is to use the SMART formula. Here are some questions to help you more clearly define your SMART goal.

  • SpecificWhat specifically, in detail, do you want to achieve?
  • MeasurableHow will you know when you’ve got it? What will you see, hear and feel?
  • AchievableWhere, when and with whom do you want it? Do you have the skills and abilities or can you develop them?
  • Realistic / ResourcesIs the goal realistic for you? What resources do you need? Do you need to make arrangements to minimize any change in schedule or routine?
  • TimedBy when do you want to achieve your goal? Is the time scale sufficient?

The next step is to identify your motivating drivers. Your levels of motivation will influence your level of commitment to do the training. Then, make a plan as to how you will get there. We will touch on these in the coming months … so stay tuned!

Until next month … go out, have some fun and enjoy your training!


About the author

Midgie Thompson of Bright Futures Coaching is a Mental Performance and Lifestyle Coach. She works with passionate and energetic individuals to help them develop the mental skills and strategies to be the best they can be while maintaining a healthy balance in their sporting, professional and personal lives. She is also a recreational marathoner and triathlete.

Using life coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnosis techniques, she coaches individuals (by telephone) in the sporting world from beginner level onwards as well as business people on performance and lifestyle issues.

For more information on how you can take your performances to greater heights, contact Midgie on +44 (0)1273 906 216 or www.brightfuturescoaching.com.

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