Goal Setting: A Process and a Science

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year I always take a lot of time and analyze the previous year, including looking at my races, my training plans and my successes (and failures).  Also I always look back on my goals that I set in January for this year and see if they were accomplished.  Beyond that I always try to analyze why I was able to accomplish some, and inevitably not accomplish others.

This year is no different and I am in the middle of that process now.  The surprising part of this process is how hard it is to analyze and report what progress I have made.  it is obvious that I have made progress in so many areas (I completed my first half Ironman and broke my half and full marathon PRs this year) but how can I bring that success forward to help with the goals that I want to set for 2016.  Each year is different so I have never been able to follow the pattern from the year before to accomplish a successful analysis for the current year.  As I delve into this project I hope that not only can I bring a clear mind that allows me to set realistic but exciting goals for the next year.

Part of the goal setting process for me is also the training scheduling process.  During this same time period I will usually plan out my training schedule for the full year.  With my goal races in mind and my benchmarks along the way.  I usually can plan out at least half of the year’s training very specifically while I will usually leave the second half of the year more broad to allow for updates after some initial benchmarks are met.

I can’t help but to be proud and thankful for the year that I have had.  I could not have done it without the support of my team, including my parents who went with me to my half Ironman in June and sat out all day in the heat, or Bride who not only went to Chicago and cheered me on to a marathon PR but also inspired me by pushing herself to complete her first half marathon in May.  Without their support, and the encouragement of many others I know that these goals would be impossible.

Here’s to planning another year of PRs and improvements!

-Runner

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