Assess your goals
It’s important to establish why things may have gone a bit topsy-turvey. Evaluate whether your goals are SMART so you can realign your focus. For those who may not be aware of SMART, it’s an acronym which you can use to set/evaluate your goals. SMART stands for:
- S - Specific - Is your goal specific enough to work? ‘Getting faster’ is great but increasing your speed within which discipline? Long distance? Short distance? A specific race? How would you feel if you increased your 100m time but didn’t increase your marathon time? Have you failed? No. Take some time to really think about a specific goal for you to work on.
- M - Measurable - How will you measure your goal? How will you measure whether you have increased your speed?Do you want to achieve a time in a certain race? Will you give any allowances for difficult weather conditions?
- A - Achievable - At this stage in the year, this is probably the big one. Are you on track with your January goals? If not, were they achievable to begin with? As an amputee, being able to run a sub-2 hour marathon is simply not achievable. Of course, set your goals high but ask yourself whether they are really achievable given your current skill level and ability to commit to that goal.
- R - Realistic - Similar to achievable, as above, think whether your goal is realistic. Are you realistically going to be able to train at the level needed to achieve your goal? Is it realistic in the timescale? Sometimes this is difficult
- T - Timely - How long do you need to accomplish this goal? Is it a short-term goal? A long-term goal? Perhaps this is why you may be unmotivated at this stage. Does your goal seem so far away that you can’t see the small steps you need to take in order to complete them?
I recently wrote about priorities within one of my Instagram posts and I wrote about how flexible priorities can be. I personally take a mental note of my priorities each week as I believe them to be constantly changing. I always have the same type of priorities e.g. family, relationship, money, work, sport etc but the order of these changes each week. Many people will often place family as their priority, which is fantastic however if your family is stable and going really well, does it need to be top on your list? Perhaps by re-evaluating, you can change it around and make some space to hit those goals.
Set a plan
It’s great to have a goal in mind but how are you actually going to achieve it? If your goal is to cover a certain distance during the year, what mileage should you have covered by June? By August? Be realistic in what you’re able to do and set yourself a plan. Plans will not only give you something to work with but will keep you on track if you’re running behind.
As well as your plan, give yourself rewards for hitting those targets. It doesn’t need to be a foodie treat necessarily but while you’re planning, think about what will work for you with rewards. Fancy going bowling or having a movie night in? Go for it - you deserve it!
I’d love to tell you that just by following these steps, you’ll smash your goals but it doesn’t come without hard work. These are just some of the steps to help keep you on track and ultimately, if you fall off the band wagon and need to get back on it, don’t stress too much. Goals are goals but any progress is progress. It might take you a bit longer but with planning and hard work, you’ll get there!
Teacher of Mathematics from Basingstoke
Age group: 25-29