I love goals. Love may actually be an understatement….I am obsessed with goals.  It’s why I make so many lists. That wonderful feeling of crossing off an item on the list; a mini accomplishment for the day. Success!! I realize goal setting isn’t for everyone, but it works for me. These goals keep me motivated to move forward.  It’s a constant competition with myself to always be better. Without goals, I feel stuck and purposeless. The success of my 2016 was mostly based around the goals that I set.

So let’s set some goals. We can do this together. When setting a goal, my focus is on establishing a target that is challenging yet achievable and most importantly measureable while still being fun. It’s my recipe for any goal worth going after. To have a true year of you, you first need to set some goals (I will also refer to goals as targets, use whatever word you like, I will use them interchangeably).

Let’s start by talking about the things that you want to do. Those things that you just can’t quite get to because life gets in the way and other requirements tend to push them to the backburner. Other people’s priorities become more important than your own. You understand what I am talking about. Now grab a piece of paper and a pen and get ready because we are going to start a list. This list WILL be on paper folks, so put your phone away or it doesn’t count as a true list.

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Now that you have your paper, start to write down a few ideas of endeavors you would like to try or targets you would like to hit. Try to keep the list on track by only adding ideas that focus on your own development, maybe they are bucket list items or something you really want to add because it will challenge you. Keep this list close for the next week; write other ideas down as you think of them. After a week of holding on to this list, identify  the items that are still at the top of your mind. The ones that make you excited. These will become the goals you chase after first.

When thinking about my goals for last year, I wanted to set targets that would give me personal satisfaction. Goals that would be challenging and that would put me well outside of my comfort zone. Setting a goal, and knowing you can easily achieve that goal just isn’t fun; it’s not rewarding. Knowing that I had to work to achieve it, now that was true satisfaction. As always, you want to make sure that the motivation and drive is there to complete the goal. It’s why I try to keep most of my goals fun. That being said, you can turn the most grueling of goals into something fun with the right mindset. Finally, your goal needs to be measurable.  If you can’t measure your progress, then it is what I classify as a fluffy goal. Don’t set fluffy goals. Examples of fluffy goals include: Be a better person, read more books, learn to cook. These are great endeavors but how do you really measure these at the end of the year? Better versions of these fluffy goals might be: Log 40 volunteer hours in 2017, read 2 books each month, make dinner 3 nights per week, every week. You get the gist.

The goal I chose to add for this fun little exercise in goal setting is that I want to complete an Indoor Sprint Triathlon at my local YMCA. 1.) This is a challenging goal for me. Let’s just say the swimming portion will not be pretty and my goal is survival. 2.) Next, this goal is achievable, absolutely achievable but it will require additional training. Up until 2 days ago, I didn’t bike and my typical training routine does not include swimming. Water actually scares the crap out of me. You should ask Jason about my panic attack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So swimming will be a challenge, but I think I can achieve it. 3.) I can measure this goal’s success. My success is finishing the triathlon in under an hour. (It’s a sprint triathlon so the distances are much shorter than a normal triathlon 400 yd swim, 12.8km bike, 2.5mi run). Wish me luck. I need it.

It is still January people, you have plenty of time to set goals for the year. Maybe 2017 will be your year of you.

Next Time: It’s race day! I will be focusing my next post on my big goal for last year….my monthly 5ks. The good, the bad, and what I learned about myself through competitive running and how it changed my outlook on what I could achieve.