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Coaches Blog

Goal Setting to Set You (and Your Life!!) Up for Success (Part 2 of 3)

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

In my last goal setting article (Part 1 of 3) you put pen to paper and figured out your “Why”, or what it is that drives you to want to achieve each of those big Outcome Goals you’ve set for yourself (qualifying for Kona; earning a partnership at your law firm; saving $100,000…). Now that you’ve figured that critical motivation out for each of your goals, let’s write your roadmap to get you there by setting your Performance and Process Goals!

Just to recap, last time, we worked through the first three steps of the epic goal setting worksheet:

1. Find your “Why”

2. Outline all of your Outcome Goals

3. Find your “Why” for each Outcome Goal

4. Outline your Performance Goals for each of your Outcome Goals.

Performance goals are best described as the stepping stones that will help you reach your Outcome Goals.These are things you have some, but not complete, control over. For example, one of my outcome goals for this year is to make my “comeback” at the 70.3 distance.Some of the performance goals that will help me make my comeback in 2020 are:

  • Swim: 6k/wk by March 2020

  • Bike: 5hrs/wk by February 2020

  • Run: 3x/wk by March 2020

My case is a little unique this year because I’m coming back from such a big break due to injury and I, therefore, focused more on time and volume related Performance Goals. Yours may look something more like:

  • Swim: 1500m in 20min by June 2020

  • Bike: Reach 2.3 watts/kilogram by July 2020

  • Run: Set a new 13.1 PR by December 2020

5. Lastly, how are you going to do it? Your Process Goals:

Process goals are goals you have complete control over. They’re things like “Swim 3 days per week” or “I’ll do mobility and foam rolling every night before I go to bed.” These are things that YOU control. YOU make the decision to do this or not. Unlike making the podium, going to the pool on a cold Tuesday morning doesn’t depend on whether or not the guy in your age group who just retired from racing as a pro decided to show up on race day. YOU decide if you’re going to sleep in or bundle up and get to the pool! Here are a few examples of Process Goals:

  • Strength train 3x/wk

  • Swim consistently 3-4 days/wk, including 1-2 days at Master’s

  • Get an average of 7.5hrs of sleep every night

You’ll notice as you go through this exercise, that not only is it extremely difficult, but it’s also very enlightening. As I went looked at all the things I wanted to accomplish and where I wanted to be in ten years, all on the same page, it allowed me to see that I’d begun to do the same thing that a lot of us do… Too much at once!

When I started this exercise several months ago, my plan had been to race another full Ironman, try to make top ten at a 70.3, try out for the Warrior Games, start a business, start a graduate program, transition out of the military, and start a new job, all in 2020!! Putting this all on paper in this format allowed me to see that it can all be done, but it doesn’t all have to be done right now. As I filled out my worksheet, some of my Outcome Goals moved to different columns (for example, “Ironman Distance Comeback” moved from 1yr to 2yrs and “Qualify for Kona again” moved from 2yrs to 5yrs) and I was able to realize that some races that I thought I might want to do, really didn’t even fit into the overall plan at all.

I hope you’ll take the time over the coming weeks to go through this exercise and realize the invaluable benefits of really examining your goals in sport in coordination with those in the rest of your life. In my next article, we’ll change gears a little talk more about the annual training plan and choosing specific races to help you reach your goals.

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