I don’t know about you but the older I get, the more I need to set goals and challenge myself more in the process of meeting my goals. When I’m setting goals through out the year, I tend to think of my year in seasons. Yes… I know we have four seasons of the year but I mean season like this…
For work… the fall touring season leading into Christmas, spring touring season and summer. Fall and Spring tour seasons are packet with travel out on tours and summer is the slow time.
For Family… School season, Holidays, Spring break and the summer break. Our families year revolves around school schedule.
For Triathlon… May thru September is race season for me. October – April is some form of off season and half marathon or 5k/10k season.
So as the seasons go, I set up different goals for myself in these different areas of my life along with a few challenges that help me get to my goal. When I get to my goal…I feel like I’ve conquered an impossible climb up a mountain.
Honestly, this could be in any area of my life. Family, spiritual, relationships, work, hobbies… no matter, all of these areas in my life seem to ebb and flow in their own seasons.
The physical foundation of this for me is in endurance sports… triathlons, long distance cycling or running. After doing this for years, I’ve finally figured out how I want to challenge myself during what most people would refer to as the off season of triathlon.
Here’s what I’ve come to learn.
I can set goals for myself, but if I don’t challenge myself in meeting those goals then what’s the point of the goal in the first place? I don’t learn anything along the way and I most certainly will fail in meeting my goal.
Sounds logical right?
Lets take a deeper look. I want to improve my 5K, 10K and Half Marathon times over the next 7 months. By the 8th month I want to have established a more firm foundation in my running and overall health. That way when I get into triathlon season, my weakest sport of the three, which is running, will be much stronger and will help me with my race goals for that season.
That’s my overall goal. But to get there I need to challenge myself in a few areas.
- Nutrition. My diet still needs to change so that I’m taking in mostly proteins, fruits and vegetables along with cutting out processed foods and unnecessary carbs. Not very easy for me. So I know this is going to be a challenge. If I conquer the challenge, I will be one step closer to hitting my goal.
- Consistency. Since moving to Colorado, my running schedule has been inconsistent. This has been a challenge for me with moving to a new city, getting married and becoming a step dad all in the same year. If I conquer this challenge, I will be one step closer to my goal.
- Cross Training. Luckily for me, triathlon feels like one big cross training sport. Swim, bike and run. It doesn’t get much better than that. Where I Have failed in all of this is not adding strength training into the mix. Stronger core and overall increased muscle strength not only shed the pounds but add to having a solid foundation for endurance. This has always been a challenge for me. If I conquer the challenge, I will be one step closer to hitting my goal.
- Race. Not just one big race but a few races along the way. When it comes to triathlon. I typically will have an “A” race. This is the big race I’m training for but along the way, I will have several smaller less important races to get me there. Setting up a few races along the way help me to gauge my progress and set smaller goals to hit during the race. Each race meets a specific purpose in the scoop of the bigger picture. This has been a challenge for me as well in that every race also comes with different situations to overcome. If I conquer the challenge, I will be one step closer to hitting my goal.
As I look at the rest of my life. I see many goals I need to achieve, but also many challenges to get there. Positive challenges… but they are still challenges I need to work through. Right now, what I’m learning about my goals for a faster and healthier me are helping me to plan goals and challenge myself personally and professionally. I need to feed myself healthy habits I can be consistent with in a diverse life that allows me reach my end goal.
How are you setting your goals up for success? Do you feel challenge and what do you expect to learn about yourself in the process?