It’s been a while since I put up a cycling-related post and then I was presented with an opportunity to share some love! Now some folks may think that this post is either A) lost in the shuffle of beginning-of-the-year-Goal-Setting posts or B) coming out too late as people should already have their goals in place. If you are one those, POO POO ON YOU! It’s never too late to take a look at your goals. Who knows, you might need to re-evaluate.
So I found this article and it struck home because it calls out the big ride I did last year. I absolutely had a goal to finish the ride. And that was about it. I actually followed the SMART plan for that event and it totally helped.
I got Specific enough for me in that my goal was to Finish The Ride. I didn’t need to break any records (or bones).
I used my PowerTap to Measure my training loads. I was able to dial in and train at a wattage and cadence that mimicd a long hill climb. I then did specific workouts that supported the type of riding I would need to do in order to finish the ride. Guess what… that same measuring device helped me dial in my efforts on the 6, 7, and 9 mile climbs.
As for Achievable and Realistic, this is where the mental aspect came in to play. Clearly, finishing my ride was achievable AND realistic as there were 25 years worth of finishers who had doe the same thing. I’d done big rides in the past, I knew how to ride in a group. Having that confidence really helped me understand how realistic I was going to be in finishing the ride.
Finally, for the Time Sensitivity; I knew the ride was starting on a set date. I essentially had a time slot to work back from. This was a big deal for me as I could plan out how much training I could get done in that time in order to be in shape for the ride.
What process(es) are you using to set your goals? I think this approach fits perfectly for physical fitness goals, and then it totally supports professional goals as well. Let’s use sales revenue as an example:
Specific: What is the sales number? More importantly, WHY is it important? Is it a record? Do the commissions support a large purchase or lifestyle change? Is this what you need to keep the lights on? Why is it important to hit this goal?
Measurable: Where are you at in relation to your goal? Do you use the Thermometer method to track progress?
Achievable and Realistic: Here’s where a lot of people fail to understand that sometimes they set themselves up for failure from the very start. Have you set yourself up for success or failure? Did you create a goal that contains those little wins along the way that instill confidence or is your goal the equivalent of breaking off a piece bigger than you can chew? How realistic is it for you to hit that goal with your current skillset and/or resources? When I first started in the speaking business, I wanted to make $150k a year and I was dead set on making it happen. I didn’t. Where I failed was in setting a realistic goal. This would have been double what I had been making in a totally different industry with a totally underdeveloped skill set (I did get pretty damn close though!)
Time: When do you want/need to have sold that much? is it a calendar year? Fiscal year? 9 months? What is your timeframe (again, make it realistic).
Hopefully you are taking a look at your goals right now and evaluating where you are at. Here’s the big thing to keep in mind. Goal setting is a skill. It needs to be practiced over and over again. You sometimes need to fail at it in order to learn. But the more you do it, the better you get at it, and all of a sudden you start seeing amazing results in all aspects of your life. Who knows, you might even get to see your boss in a whole new light…
What goals do you have in place for 2013? Feel free to share below because a goal not written down SOMEWHERE just isn’t a goal at all.