Achieving your goals

Have your new year resolutions started to fade to oblivion, what challenges have you set for yourself this year. What processes have you put in place to ensure you hit your target. In this blog I will share my goals for 2022 and top tips for help you reach yours. An important part of the process is reviewing the goals I set last year, and setting new ones for the year ahead.


Background:

What is a goal? Locke & Latham (1990) stated that a goal is defined simply as what the individual is consciously trying to do. That is, one’s values create a desire to do things consistent with them. Finally, accomplishing the goal can lead to satisfaction and further motivation, or frustration and lower motivation if the goal is not accomplished.


I am sure we can all recount tails of both success and failure but what lead to the success or failure here are some steps to take along the way. Firstly identify your goal, why that goal, is it personal, does achieving it mean something to you. What type of goal setter are you? Do you enjoy the planning, do you train hard for your event or do you just do the event? For me I really enjoy the planning stage as much as the doing, more about that later.


If you want to succeed you must have the desire to achieve and the positivity to over come adversity. What do you want to achieve, how do you challenge yourself?





Setting Goals:

Think about why you want to do that challenge, what is the motivation behind it, is that motivation strong enough to carry you through to the end.

Everyone knows about SMART targets, but have a think about making it SMARTER mnemonic, stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed, evaluate and readjust.


Specific:

Write down exactly what you want to achieve, with as much detail as possible. This will help you produce your map to success. Knowing the details will help motivate you forward. Is this something you will be doing yourself or with others? Why do you want to do this? Is there a financial cost to this goal?


Measured:

Produce a timeline for yourself, if you have a large challenge try to break it down into smaller challenges. When this happens I divide these into short, medium and long term goals. I ask myself when do I want to achieve this by, and how will I know that I have achieved it?


Achievable:

Never say never! Everything is achievable but some things take longer than others. The goal has to be big enough to feel that it is a challenge, but without feeling overwhelming.


Relevant:

Is this a stepping stone towards your main goal?

Is this going to help me reach my goal or get in the way?


Timed:

Set a time to have achieved the goal by.

If setting mini goals along the way set time scales next to these too.


Evaluated:

By evaluating your goals regularly, you keep them in the forefront of your mind, helps hone that dogged determination to succeed. If you have a training plan, take time to evaluate each session, use the information in your evaluation as data to improve performance, plan nutrition better, improve mental approach to training.


Readjust:

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball you get ill or injured or family life gets in the way, goals may have to be adjusted, put on a back burner or just try an alternative method of achieving it. For example if planning to swim a long distance why not first do the event as a relay before trying for a solo.


My Goals 2022:

  • Firstly get back in the water. Start with short swims and increase slowly length of time and distance, keep a record so that I can see progress I have really struggled to get back to a reasonable fitness level- Apr 2021 following lock down I have had my own trials and tribulations but that is the challenge.

  • Walk the Lady Anne Way - this is a 100 mile walk from Skipton to Penrith, 6/7 days if I am fighting fit I may do it in 5 days, accommodation B & B. Started walking every day increasing mileage up to 20 miles per day, using a tracker to keep a record - before end Oct 2022

  • Humber swim - June 2022 - raise money for Humber lifeboat teams and starts from under the Humber bridge. Those who know me will be quite surprised I am not renowned for my sea swimming I do a bit, this is two miles against the tide, go too slow and you will end up being rescued by the boat you are raising money for.

  • Coniston Two way - maybe on the cards too towards the end of the summer, this will be for Cancer research my middle brother Martin has been battling cancer over the last year or so and is finally showing signs of recovery.


Reviewing last year 2022:

  • Completed STA tutor after starting Aug 2020

  • Completed Ullswater E2E 5 hrs 20 min, I think was my finish time. 7.5 miles. I was disappointed with my time, but hadn't had the best preparation time, the swim itself didn't quite go to plan, started strong, about 3 miles in I hit a wind patch where I could see a knoll on the hill and I never seemed to move for about an hour, mental this nearly destroyed me, had the safety boat been on hand at this point I would have quit. When I got to half way and I started to feel better, so glad to get to the finish. There was a group of Wyresdale Park swimmers waiting for me which was a massive boost. Many thanks again to Amy who was my kayak support, I couldn't have done it without her. This was my biggest swim to date.


Top tips to achieving your goals:

  1. Make it real, own it - I announce it then there is no backing out.

  2. Start training early - seek help if needed, start small and build up.

  3. Keep a diary, not just of activities and times but also how you felt about each session. Look for patterns, do you do better training in the mornings or later in the day. If really keen keep a food diary see what foods boost performance.

  4. Look for aspects that motivate you (other people's performance, stats, weight loss) what ever it is. I like little quotes to keep me going, I bounce of others so I like to train with people way better than me (not hard) to push me further.


Thanks for reading I can't wait to see what you all achieve this year.