Most of you have your wish list of trail races or events written down. For now, it is just that – a list.
Ultimately, you need to convert that list into goals. Without setting goals, your life can become a series of muddled events you don’t have control over. You become the toy of chance.
Get SMART goals
You’ve probably heard about the concept of SMART goals.
SMART goal setting brings structure into your goals. Instead of ambiguity, this format creates verifiable paths towards a certain goal, with clear milestones. Every step, from the first toe in the water, to the main goal, can be made SMART, and brought closer to reality.
“I’m as much of a human being as the rest of the world. But if I don’t train, I don’t win. If I don’t focus, I don’t win. So, I don’t have a choice: I just have to run.” Mo Farah, Olympian
Let’s look at that mountain that got the better of you last year. Your goal is to reverse the cards this year.
Having goals is the easy part. Now you need to stay focused. I have found that I am better focused if I do the following:
- Do a continuous reality check. Adapt your goals and plans if you need to.
- Stay resilient. Value your goals and believe that you can achieve it.
- Get a running partner. Someone who can push, pull, and challenge you.
- Join a running group. It is always fun to do long runs with a group.
- Find a running coach who will understand you, your goals, and reality.
- Connect with your running heroes if you can!
Leadership coach and TRAIL contributor Kevin Light says: “Ideas are cheap, and on their own don’t produce real change. Decisions are more solid.
“When we move past wanting something, to deciding to do it, then we become different. Our inner leader takes over and action follows. SMART goals are one way of turning ideas into decisions. If you really want to lead yourself somewhere different, be SMART.”
Goals, in particular SMART goals (see table), will help you keep your passion for running alive. Adding focus will elevate your running, keep it exciting, and allow you to be the best runner you can be.
This article was originally published in TRAIL 27.