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Goals for the New Year

It’s party time at the moment as everyone moves from Christmas partying to new years eve partying. It’s also that time of year when people set themselves new year’s resolutions with plans to achieve amazing things. Unfortunately most of these new years resolutions survive as long as the many balloons that we find ourselves dancing under at our our New Year’s parties. New year’s resolutions have a spectacularly amazing failure rate.

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I don’t encourage my athletes to set big goals or new year’s resolutions and I find the many offers we are flooded with at this time of year to “detox’, “drop 2 dress sizes” or “get fit in 40 days” as disappointing examples of “Chauffeur knowledge”.

Rather than setting outcome driven goals (e.g. qualify for…., or win X, or run a marathon in 2:55:xx) I would encourage everyone to set a number of process driven goals. If you make those key processes a regular part of your life than there is a much greater chance that the outcomes you seek will become a reality.

Examples of good process goals are:

  • Precede each and every run with the lunge matrix
  • End each hard session with a healthy protein snack
  • Complete 2 strength sessions each week
  • When ill forget about training and focus on rest and recovery
  • Hit my hardest intensities at the end of every single training session rather than the beginning without exception
  • Run all my easy runs easy, really easy
  • Keep 70% of my meals balanced and healthy
  • Do more of the training you don’t like to do but that will make you a better athlete
  • Complete at least 90% of my coach’s training plan each week (ok, that might be a little cheeky one I sneaked in :-)).

Focusing on outcomes causes us to make bad decisions like over training, or over stressing ourselves or worst of all forgetting to enjoy the fantastic adventures that training provides us on a daily basis. You may also have a great season with vastly improved performances but still fail to reach that outcome goal; that shouldn’t be seen as a failure in anyone’s eyes.

You know when you are driven by a place or a time and what that does to you………..let it go.

Reaching your fitness potential comes about one small step at a time repeated over many weeks, months and years. It involves stoic patience with an absence of noticeable performance gains over days and even weeks because it takes months for improvement to happen and years for it to build until it can blow you socks off. Be brave enough to focus on doing better each day with passion and enthusiasm and there’s every chance that you will reach your goals.

 

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This also reminds me of a great interview with Scot Molina (one of the original “Big Four” of triathletes) a multiple world champion and one of the best triathletes of all time. He had a fierce reputation for training harder than any other triathlete of his generation. He gave a brilliant insight into motivation and staying the course saying “people often ask me how I motivate myself to train every morning like I do, well motivating myself doesn’t enter my head I just get up and I’m out the door training”.

Learn to love the training and the process, taking one session at a time and you won’t need any motivational tricks and certainly no doomed to fail new years’ resolutions.

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