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Matt's multisport musings...
Matt's multisport musings...

How good is 2011 going to be? SMART Goals and beyond┬...

edwarmaby edwarmaOct 13th 2010
The leaves are falling, some glorious autumnal weather is upon us, and in the world of triathlon thoughts are turning to 2011. You may already be thinking about next year┬'s races - perhaps you are signed up already! - working out what will go better next time, and perhaps how much lovely training you┬'ll be doing over the winter. You may even be saying to yourself ┬"THIS time I am going to do it PROPERLY!┬"

Whether you┬'ve already entered a big race, or are just pondering what to do next year, effective goal-setting is a great thing to think about before jumping into training ┬- if you don┬'t know where you┬'re going, how do you know which way to move?

You will probably have come across ┬'SMART┬' goals as a recommended way of clarifying what you want to achieve. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Do your current goals fit into this?

In triathlon, it can often quite easy to find SMART goals ┬- ┬"I┬'m going to do a sub 2.30 Olympic tri at X race next year┬" for example. But perhaps there is something deeper worth exploring┬...

There are some fundamental questions that can really give you insight into your own goals - bringing you closer to understanding, and therefore committing to and achieving, something special. Often, we pick up goals that others have talked about, or that we think we ought to go for. They may, or may not, be useful for us.

Effective goals will have a strong sense of ownership, personal relevance, and are far more likely to be genuinely motivational. This can be of massive help when asking questions like ┬"why am I getting up at 5am in the cold and dark to go swimming AGAIN!┬" Once your goals are well-formed, the steps to achieving them become much more obvious.

So if you┬'re thinking of goals and targets for next year, why not try these out on yourself, or get someone else to ask you:

┬- What do you want to achieve?
┬- What do you need to change in order to achieve it?
┬- What will this give you?
┬- What is important about that?
┬- How do you know, really know, that this is your own personal goal?
┬- Are there any downsides to pursuing and achieving your goal? If so, can you manage them?
┬- Imagine yourself having achieved what you wanted - what does that feel, look and sound like?

And finally┬...
┬- What┬'s the first step you can take towards your goal RIGHT NOW?
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