With 2017 firmly underway, I have been painstakingly attempting to finalize some race and health goals this year. OK. Who am I kidding, I've been procrastinating like crazy. 

I’ve never really been a planner or, come to think of it, someone who really did the whole “goal” thing – think about it, write it down, execute, blah blah blah blah.

However, in 2016 I actually set a goal, laid out a plan to achieve it and executed. It certainly was not without its struggles, but I did it. Coming off that experience, I obviously feel invincible and am going to take a little more aggressive approach this year to my goal setting.

First a little discussion...rant.....explanation.....on the practice of setting goals.

Rethink the SMART goal advice

I’ve been doing a little reading and research on setting effective goals. I’ve read the same old crap over and over again – set SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic & Time Specific) goals, make sure you don’t set goals that seem unachievable, set goals specific to your lifestyle, tell someone about your goals, etc etc.

There have definitely been some good pieces of advice, but honestly it is just the same old shitty, airy fairy cookie cutter advice, that honestly isn’t very useful in practice.

My Goal Setting Principles:

F^*k SMART goals! GO FOR IT!!!

  • Set a goal that seems unachievable & unrealistic in your current state of mind - like oh I don’t know doing an Ironman after only one race and no professional training. Try set ONE goal – fitness, personal, professional – that seems at the moment unattainable. Then take some time and plan out what it would take to achieve and start to execute. You might just surprise yourself.  

  • I should qualify this a little ..... do make sure your goals are specific – in what you want to achieve and when though and how you’ll know. That’s still SMART and will help you let yourself keep track of your progress over time.

Tell people who are important to you

  • I hate letting people down. The fear of being seen as a failure is a huge motivation to me, and while that appears negative it works really well for me. I try tell as many people that are important me about my big, unrealistic goals to add a little motivation to not lose sight of what I want to achieve
  • I also tell a few people who I know will doubt me. Again, I know it isn’t a “positive” motivating factor but it works for me. Showing people who doubt you what you can achieve can be very rewarding. Haters going to hate, but only you can prove them wrong.

 Consider a bet

  • Bets are a good way to keep you going. Make a little wager with a friend or family member, it can go a long long way to keeping you on track to meeting your goal

Don’t fear failure

  • Setting goals that are “attainable” & “realistic” can actually be quite unrewarding. A goal that you’re confident you can achieve will hardly give you a sense of accomplishment compared to achieving something you thought was unrealistic. Think 10km is doable, maybe set the goal this year to tackle that half-marathon
  • Set some smaller, confidence building goals as a start
  • There is immense value in crossing things off a list. If you’re the kind of person that is motivated by that, try set some smaller goals early on to build your confidence. 

My 2017 Fitness and Health Goals

Motivate FIVE people to tackle something they didn’t think they could do

  • They can’t all be about me. I share as an outlet for my own growth, but also in the hopes that someone somewhere catches a little bug of motivation

Finish Ironman 70.3 in 4:45 or better

  • Thus far my best time is 5:15 in Victoria. I’m confident I can do better. I’ve got a plan and will execute this year. 30 mins seems like a lot and it is.

Top 10 Age-Group Finish

  • This one is a huge stretch, I think my best ranking has been maybe 25. 

Achieve All-World-Athlete Gold Status

  • I think this is achievable but I’m not sure. Part of it is just math but to get into the top tier, I’ll need some good strong races

End Carb Addiction

  • This is a huge priority for me. I’ll be writing and talking a lot about this one, but the short story is – I’ve got a sugar and carb addiction. First step: 21 days on 100g of carbs or less. Good bye sugar candies, oh how I’ll miss you.

Increase flexibility and mobility

  • A harder goal to measure but one that is essential to goals 1-3
  • Sub-goal: stretch everyday!

Increase overall strength

  • Sub-goal: some weight training 2-3 times a week, even if that is a round of body weight  exercise. All too often we endurance athletes ignore strength training but that really is an awful strategy.

Branch Out Bike Tour King of the Hill

So there they are my 2017 targets, goals, objectives. I think its a bold 2017 goals list and I CANNOT wait to start tackling it!!!!!!!!

Now that I’ve told everyone I guess I better start executing!

What are your 2017 goals? What approaches helps you follow through? Don’t be shy people we want to hear from you!