Click here to check out a pretty cool post by Tri James at Ironman 101 on goal setting. He came across a clever acronym “SMART” which lists five key attributes for good goal setting.
The two that strike home for me are “Attainable” and “Realistic.” Obviously, It’s useless for me to set a goal of winning Ironman. It’s just not going to happen, meaning it’s neither “attainable” nor “realistic.” Similarly, setting a PR in last weekends Harbourfront 10k was “realistic,” but this early in the season not “attainable.”
Another consideration should be “Control” which could fall under realistic, but what I mean is that it’s no use setting a goal that you have no control over.
For example, a goal such as qualifying for KONA is beyond your control. As a competitor, you have no control over how well your peers will perform. On the other hand a goal of finishing in under 10 hours is something you can control, provided it is realistic and attainable. And if that result gets you a top 5 in your age group, it may get your slot.
That’s kind of what happened to me when 2 years ago at Ironman Newfoundland 70.3 . I had a performance goal in mind that was ambitious, but attainable. I fell short, but on that very hot and humid day, a lot of other competitors also came up short, I placed 7th in my age group, and snagged a Clearwater slot in the roll down.
So anyone looking to improve their performance, remember “SMART” and “CONTROL” and be that “Competitive Jerk”