If you don't know where you are going,
you'll end up someplace else.
Goals are the fundamental building block of change and self-improvement. As everyone knows, goals tell us where we want to go. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it’s running a mile or a marathon, setting a goal provides us with a clearly defined thing that we want to achieve. Everyone has some goal they would like to achieve. Let me help you realize your goal.
Setting effective goals
Let’s say your goal is to run more. This is what’s called an “Outcome” goal. It’s the destination you want to reach. This could be running more, passing a certain test, calling your mom once a week—whatever you want. For the sake of this activity, let’s look at our example:
I want to run more.
This probably sounds like a goal you may have set for yourself, but I'm here to show you how we can make it better.
To run more.
For our example, how can we make it more specific? Are you shooting for a specific time? Finishing place? It doesn’t matter what it is, just be specific. For our example, let’s add distance:
To run a marathon.
To run a marathon in under 4 hours and 30 minutes.
To run a marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Great! But if you’re new to running, this goal is a little too hard. This can be your ultimate long-term goal, but without intermediary goals, you don’t have direction. So how about we start with a 5k (3.1 miles). While it will be difficult for someone new to running, it is definitely achievable. And once you complete that race, it will encourage you to train for the next step, a 10k, then half-marathon, and finally, a marathon!
To run a 5k.
That’s better. Now let’s assume roughly the same pace, maybe a little quicker to account for the shorter distance.
To run a 5k in under 30 minutes.
To run the local 5k on January 1st in under 30 minutes.
Now the goal is starting to take shape.
I want to run the local 5k on January 1st in under 30 minutes.
Now frame it as something you’re going to do, not just something you want to do. I want someone on the street to give me a million dollars for nothing-- wanting isn’t going to make anything happen.
I will run the local 5k on January 1st in under 30 minutes.
Now we have an awesome, effective goal that tells us exactly where we want to go. Next post, we will talk about creating a road map to get there.