As another year comes and goes, we are presented the opportunity to reflect on the past and build on the future. What better way than setting some new goals? Ah yes, the resolution. Defined in the dictionary as "the quality of being determined or resolute." When the bells of Big Ben chime to indicate the New Year, we are more positive than ever.
As a personal trainer, I see this often. The gym gets busier and more people are determined as ever to get into shape. But how does this become a habit? And for those of you who are already there, how do you go up another level? Whatever position you are in, the most important and practical advice I can give is to set achievable goals. But how do you set goals like this? Lets break it up:
Short Term Goals
Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or you struggle to run a mile, you need a realistic goal in the short term. Smaller and more achievable goals are the best way to make a habit as you may notice immediate results. Your long term aim may be to improve your marathon time by an hour, or, if you are a beginner, to run your first marathon. But these aren’t going to happen overnight and need to be broken down into manageable goals.
Set short term goals (up to 3 months) which are achievable and keep you motivated. These goals may be to run one mile without stopping, or perhaps increasing your mileage by 20%! Make sure you record them down and celebrate when you have ticked them off!
Medium Term Goals
This is a half way house to your long term goal. It is in the back of your mind as you rattle through your short term targets. In football terms, it’s the half time oranges.
If you are aiming to run a big PB in a marathon, your medium term goal will be to improve your half marathon time. Or you could aim at increasing your training times by 25% from the previous year - whatever you think will help you on your journey. Make sure the medium term goal is achievable yet challenging enough to give you the opportunity to stay focused on your long-term goal.
Long Term Goals
This is the ultimate destination. Your very own holy grail. Whatever your long term goals may be, your short term and medium term goals are stepping stones to this feat. But using the short term and medium term approach, you will be monitoring your journey and feeding your motivation and positivity.
Whatever this long term goal may be, when you reach that point and cross that line, all of your emotions invested into your many goals will pour out of you and I promise it will be the greatest experience you could have.
So please share with us your long term goals, write it down and declare it to the world. Be positive but train smart. Stay in a short term mentality but have the long term aim for in the back of your mind. And when you finish the journey and hit that big goal, there is always another challenge waiting around the corner and the process can start again…
Have your best year yet,