Achieve Your Goals – Don’t Wish for Them

Goals that are not written down are not wishes.
John crossed the finish line at the 2012 Ironman World Championship in 10:13:37.

John qualified for the 2012 Ironman World Championships at Ironman Cozumel in November, 2011. In the year leading up to that race, he wrote down his goals and posted them in our home office, as well as on his desk at work.

Those sheets of paper were daily reminders of what he was working toward. They were daily reminders that he had work to do if he was going to accomplish his goals.

Otherwise, he was just wishing, waiting for something to happen.

As athletes, we know that we can’t wish for better endurance or speed or health. We have to take steps everyday that bring us closer to our goals – whatever those goals might be.

‘Tis the time of year to set resolutions, and many of you are likely trying to determine what you’d like to resolve to do for the coming year. Resolutions are okay – but it’s better to have clear, specific goals that you write down and make visible — even if only to yourself.

As we wrote previously, resolutions tend to be vague ideas about something we want to change or do: “eat healthy,” “get in shape,” or “be more consistent with training.”

Phrased in this way, resolutions don’t offer a clear path for action. So, work on transforming your resolutions into specific, deliverable goals, that you write down and place in a prominent location.

So, “eat healthy” might be made into a more actionable goal by stating: “make vegetables the center of every meal” or “learn to prepare a new vegetable dish every week,” or “reduce and/or eliminate processed grains and sugars from my diet.”

“Get in shape” might be better stated in terms of a specific end goal, such as completing a half or full marathon.

A goal for consistent training might be better phrased by selecting and sticking with a specific training plan with at least 6 days of training each week, in preparation for an A-priority race. You could also keep a training log or hire a coach to keep you accountable and on track with your goal for consistency.

To set an actionable goal be 1) specific, 2) realistic, 3) provide measurable outcomes, 4) identify benchmarks you need to hit along the way to achieve the larger goal, and 4) chart and celebrate your progress. Keep your goals visible, and do something every day that brings you one step closer to achieving your goals.


Achieve Your Goals – Don’t Wish for Them
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