First, I want to wish each of you a Happy New Year, 2010. I hope you had a great holiday season & managed to stay healthy & happy. By now, I bet (or at least hope!) you have set at least one goal for the new year, or have made a resolution (if you’ve gone off track in some area) to change something in your lifestyle. This year I’m stepping away from some of the trial-and-error aspects of my training & reuniting with the tried-and-true ones.
I read something on the web the other night having to do with goal-setting – I’ve talked about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals before. This particular article added two more aspects to the goal-setting process, making the goal S.M.A.R.T.E.R.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are: Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Reasonable. Time-Focused.
And the E.R. added in stands for: Exciting. Recorded.
When I read the last two, I realize many well-meaning persons – even if they do make a smart goal – choose goals that have little if any excitement. How many write their goals down on a three-by-five card, sheet of paper, first page of their daily planner…or in lipstick on the mirror? Very few have something staring them in the face each day which makes them accountable for their plan of action.
That’s the difference between a not-so-exciting (e.g., weight-loss) goal & setting a more-exciting (e.g., finish a half-marathon) goal. Often the not-so-exciting goal outcome is the unintended result of achieving the exciting goal. It’s a lot easier to get up out of bed to go run ten miles on Sunday morning because you’re training for a spring half-marathon than it is to go run ten miles on Sunday morning because you want to lose ten pounds by Easter.
Speaking of Sunday morning runs; we've had a group doing an 8-mile loop, going out from a local park most weeks (weather permitting) at 7:30…give or take a minute. My Facebook announcement of the event usually says 7:25 (see Without Limits to learn why…). To make certain nobody is left behind we’ve regrouped every mile or so, or at the top of the hills… Once enough folks are familiar with the loop I can think about going out in pace groups, but for the time being I want to make certain everyone is accounted for. Some of my masters’ swimming & triathlon companions & some of the local RRCA club members have come for early season training. Most everyone heads off to complete their plan of the day, but we’ve left coffee/bagels on the agenda in case one feels compelled to recover with the help of caffeine, complex carbohydrates & other good stuff.
Weather conditions haven’t been conducive to track work lately. It’s depressing (for me, too!) to train in the dark & cold. But this is temporary – it’s easier for all to tolerate when we’re all suffering together. I’ll show up at the track if you do.