Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big Goals

I debated whether to post about my big goal for this season or not, because my goal race is this weekend (Trimemphre de Magog – Sprint AG Nationals). But I think it is important to set goals – really big ones – and to share them with others. I may be writing a post on Monday about how I didn’t achieve my big goal, but that is okay, because I firmly believe that the journey is just as important as the destination. Setting big goals motivates us to challenge ourselves, go outside our comfort zone, and grow as people and athletes. So, here it is:

My BIG goal for this season – to qualify for the Canadian Age Group World Championships Team! So I’m going to race at Magog, where there are 10 spots per age group, and I’m going to give it my all – leaving absolutely nothing on the course on Saturday.

I set the goal for myself after doing my first triathlon ever. Wait, really Kelsey?!?

Let’s talk about goal setting for a minute. 

When I set goals, I try to keep the SMART acronym in mind...

• What are you going to do? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
• How are you going to do it? Set out specific steps, break it into manageable pieces.

• Make sure your goal can be measured so that you can keep track of your progress.

• Is your goal within your own control and influence? Your goal should be a stretch, but it should be achievable within the allotted timeframe.

• This goes hand-in-hand with attainable goals. Your goal should be something you are physically capable of achieving.

• This one is easy. Set an end date. Having a race to work toward is perfect.

So, my goal of making the team is specific. I can measure it by the times that I achieve over the course of the season. I knew that I needed to drop a lot of time on my bike, and I can measure that progress with my bike speed and my bike times in my races and practice. My goal is attainable, as long as I put in the work to get faster and as long as I race my heart out. My goal is realistic – I looked at previous times for qualifiers and I know what I need to do. Finally, my goal is time sensitive – race day is July 19.  I set a lot of small goals too that help me make progress toward my big goal and give me confidence as I work through my training.

Pursuing a big goal can be scary. It can be stressful. It can make you feel uncomfortable. That is why you have to remember that your #1 goal should actually be to have fun! If you aren't having fun and you aren't looking for happiness in the challenge, then you should reconsider your goals and you should reconsider your approach.

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