Goal writing is nothing new for me. I do this on a daily basis for my job as a PT, but it's for other people. When a patient comes into my office for an evaluation, I have to diagnose the problem, identify impairments, create a 'problem list', and then write goals. The goals I write need to be measurable and specific for that patient. We follow a format of "ABCDE":
- Audience - who is expected to change
- Behavior - what behavior changes or results are expected
- Condition - under what circumstance will the result be accomplished
- Degree - how much change will occur
- Evidence - how will the change be measured (outcome measures)
When it comes to my training, I try to be specific as well. Very basic goals just won't work. There's another pneumonic used to help with this goal writing: "SMART"
- S - specific/significant
- M - measurable/meaningful
- A - attainable
- R - relevant/rewarding
- T - time bound/trackable
I also need to be mindful about what is realistic. I won't set a goal like "Finish an Ironman in 10 hours" when my last one was over 14 hours. I look at my previous times and if I am racing a similar course (or an easier course), then I figure for maybe a 5-8% change. I have to look at my previous times when figuring all this out.
My goals for this year are based on racing times and power goals (cycling). I also get an objective opinion on my goals as well. It's important to have a detailed conversation with my coach to get her input on what I hope to achieve. She will come up with the details to help me achieve my goals. With each workout, we analyze the data and see if I am on target to making my goals.
It's important to write your goals down. I keep a copy on my nightstand or on my phone so I see it every day and am reminded about what I want to accomplish. What are your goals for next year?