Goal Setting

By January 1, 2014Fitness

Hello blog world friends!

While I may have seemed to disappear into a blogging black hole, I have returned!  It was good to take a break from writing about food/training/triathlon/etc for a while.  Honestly, the motivation and desire to write, photograph, and share, was just not there.  So, I waited for it to come back.  I’m not sure it has come back fully, but I have been itching to write, and will take this baby step towards posting again.

I have not made a New Years Resolution to blog regularly again.  I am more of a goal setter than a resolution maker.  I’m not sure on the precise differences between the two.  I just know that “resolutions” do not appeal to me so much as “goals”.  Maybe it is because when I hear “resolution” I think of a stubborn, proud, face saying “Grrr, I am GOING to DO THIS by myself with all of my might.”  When I hear “goal” I think of a hopeful, humble, face saying “God, please help me to reach this goal if you want me to.  Otherwise, show me a better goal to reach, and help me to get there instead.”  Maybe this is silly, and maybe you do not see either of these faces when you hear these words.  Regardless, I prefer to write goals.

To me, a goal is something that my eyes are set on.  It most likely involves continual work and sacrifice to get there, and some goals may be so lofty that they may be unreachable on earth.  Some goals may change with life circumstances, or may be upgraded once attained.  Goals can be concrete, like “I would like to make the 2016 Olympic Swim Team,” or more abstract, like “I would like to get better at swimming.”  However, for me, the more specific the goal I make, the more clear the path I must take (Or, did Yoda say that?).  It is easier to see a goal that has color, shape, and texture, than a goal that is blurry and ambiguous.  And how can you know how to get to your goal if you don’t know where it is, how far away, or even exactly what your goal is.

I have been taking time to reflect on 2013, revisiting my goals for the past year and thinking about whether they have been reached, need some tweaking, or have changed into completely different goals.  I have also thought about some new goals for 2014, and written them in my journal.  For me, a journal keeps me accountable.  We can talk about goals, pray about them, and think about them, and maybe that is enough.  But, for me, I know that I will forget my goals unless I can look back on them in my own journal.  Plus, it’s just fun to reconnect with your past self and see where you were and where you are now.  I highly recommend journaling, or at least goal-setting.  It doesn’t have to be an annual thing–sometimes I write goals for a season, or for a day, or even for a training session.

To close these thoughts on new beginnings and goal-setting, I want to give a shout-out to someone who taught me about goal-setting–what it is, how to make specific goals, short-term goals, and long-term goals, attainable goals, and lofty goals, and how to make little changes to reach those goals.  My age group and senior swim coach, Coach Bill, gave us “goal sheets” on which we would write out goals for our end-of-season swim events.  We would write specific splits that we needed to make to achieve these goals.  Then, we would write out goals for each swim meet leading up to the big end-of-season meet.  We would regularly revisit our goal sheets, see what we had achieved, and adjust our goals accordingly.  We would memorize our best times and our goal times so that we would know specifically what we needed to do each day in practice to reach our goals.  This practice changed the way I set goals in life, and caused me to really think about where I want to be, to determine how I might get there, and to adjust goals with life changes.  Another thing it taught me was that there are “big” long-term goals that may take years to reach, and those are awesome.  But, “small” goals to keep us on track towards reaching the big ones.

Coach Bill (center), 2007

What are your goals (er, resolutions, if you like) for this year?  Do you have a big, lofty, goal, and some smaller, attainable, goals?  Do you know what you need to do to reach them?  Did you write them down?

Happy 2014!!

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” -Proverbs 16:3

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