Happy New Year, Precision Athletes! It’s that time of year where we all get very
excited about a fresh start and how we can be the best version of our self for 2019.
This is a great time of year to set goals and look back on 2018 to see the path you
have taken. This blog is going to jump right into how to evaluate 2018’s successes
and struggles, and how to set your self up for success in 2019.
I truly believe that in order for us to decide where we want to go for this year, we
need to look to where we have been. This means taking an objective-as-possible
look at the past year. One thing to note: we are going to be careful to consider how
we phrase the events from last year. We are going to classify them as either a
success or a struggle. It is important to remember that we shouldn’t phrase
undesirable results from last year as failures – because we don’t truly fail until we
give up and stop pressing.
With that in mind, I would like for you to sit down and write out all of your major
events and goals from last year. This can include athletics as well as personal items. Was your goal to PR in half-marathon? Or was it to spend more time with your
spouse and family? Did you get into the weight room more often like you wanted to?
Did you press for the promotion at work you have been seeking? Once you have
determined what your goals and events from last year were, it’s time to classify and
see how you did. Was it a success? Or was it a struggle? Remember – the journey is
just as important as the destination, and as long as you are growing, you are
This can be a painful exercise if 2018 was a difficult year for you. And that’s
ok! Accept that the year has passed, and 2019 offers a fresh start.
So you’ve assembled your list of goals and events from last year, and have now
classified them based on success or struggle. Now it’s time to move forward. What I
want you to do now is to look at the list you have created. Are there goals that
should be moved forward into 2019? Are there some that no longer are of value to
you? Our goals and our values change – and this is a good thing. Growth is change. It
is alright if you left a goal in 2018 as a struggle and no longer truly value it. Maybe
you didn’t run that marathon like you wanted to. But instead you found more time
to spend with your kids. Now is the time to evaluate priorities and what truly
matters to you. This is also the time to add in any new goals you would like to
achieve this year.
By now you probably have a list of goals that is quite long and includes things from
work, home, athletic pursuits, and more. Now comes the hard part. I want you to go
through your list and choose three goals.
For all of you type-A runners out there, yes I truly mean only three. Then, you will rank these three goals in order of importance to you. Do not be tempted to add more than three at this time.
Let’s discuss goal setting to learn why this is important.
When you are setting goals for yourself, I would like you to view them through the
Your goals should be:
Let’s dive into each of these aspects individually:
Your goals should be realistic for your life and your circumstance. If you have
never in your life made it to the gym 3 times in a week, you will not suddenly be able
to go every day. The same goes for running. If you have never been able to dedicate
6 days per week to runs, don’t expect yourself to suddenly achieve this! Keep in
mind family and work obligations, as well.
For those of you that like metrics, this will be your bread and butter. A goal needs to
be measurable so you know if you have achieved it or not. Now, do not go crazy here
and set a goal that is so specific it is unlikely to actually happen. Remember – be
realistic. Perhaps this means instead of shooting for a Boston Qualifier time, you
instead set your goal as “better than last year.” Make it measurable so you can
reward yourself when you achieve.
This aspect reaches back into the realistic parts of your goal. Remember, 2019 is a
whole year. 12 months. 365 days. That is a long time. Set a goal that can weather the
seasons and the storms of life and still make it through to December. This is
especially important when you are trying to change something substantial in your
daily routine. For example, diet changes or exercise changes need to be sustainable.
They take time and also need to be able to fit into your everyday routine. This is a
good time to look back on last year’s goals and see why they may have been a
struggle. Perhaps they weren’t sustainable.
This last point is arguably the most important. If you truly value something, it will
become a priority. If you do not, it will be that much harder to achieve a goal. For
example, maybe last year resulted in many lost training days due to injury or lack of
proper nutrition. Now would be a good time to evaluate what is truly important to
you, and seek out the steps to prioritize. Another example: why do you want to go to
the gym more this year? Is it to look better? This is not a bad goal, but has the potential
to fizzle if you don’t have a deeper meaning behind it. Perhaps you want to
be stronger so you can then play with your kids more or get through the day without
being so tired. Now that’s a valuable goal.