OK first up What is a Goal. As defined by Wikipedia (the source of amazing things) is
- "A goal or objective is a desired result an animal or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve—a personal or organisational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines."
Well what does this mean? Well it means many things to different people. For some a Goal is to lose weight or increase fitness for some its achieve things they never thought possible e.g. climbing an alpine route or taking part in a stage event. For me its all of these things. I am one of life's over eager people. I like to try achieving things before I have set a plan to do it. This is one reason why I have slow progress and why I don't see good returns.
This has changed recently by gaining a Level 2 coaching qualification in cycling. I can now see the big picture and not focus on the immediate issue. One thing that we have been drilled in is using the SMART criteria. For anyone who works in a consultancy role I will hear the groans from here, as I do when reviews come up. For those who don't know what it means it is a simple way to plan things so:
- S - Specific
- M - Measurable
- A - Attainable
- R - Relevant; and
- T - Time bound
SPECIFIC - This is the need to set a goal. This means its is clear and unambiguous. To be specific it must tell you what you need to do. For example a specific goal might be to achieve a finish in a race or to finish a TT in a set amount time.
MEASURABLE - The goal should be measurable. Its no point setting something you cannot measure. For example; its not measurable to say I'm going to generate an extra 50 watts a month if you have no way of measuring this.
ATTAINABLE - The goal must be achievable. Why set something that you wont achieve. Set the bar to high and you will give up however, setting the bar to low and you will achieve it and lose motivation.
RELEVANT - Simply put - Does it seem worthwhile.
TIME BOUND - Set your goal in time frame. By putting a time on it it makes it real and puts a deadline on it.
Lets put this into a scenario - A typical club rider who wants to get into time trialing in a more competitive way and has dabbled in a few time trials the previous year. Personal Best was 26 minutes. The goal for this rider may be:
- By 1st July I will have completed a 10m TT in 26 Minutes.
Its Specific - It has set the goal, the reason for training the reason to compete.
Its Measurable - There is a defined time period to complete it in of 26 minutes.
Its Attainable - The goal is not a stretch with good training it should be achievable.
Its Relevant - The rider wants to TT and therefore its in their interest.
Its Time bound - The rider has set a date of the 1st of July to achieve this.
Have a think about the above what are your goals for the year. Part 2 of this blog (it will happen) will look at what happens if we set to easy or to demanding goals and I will try to outline my goals for 2012 and what I plan on doing about achieving them. I hope this is helpful to someone........