This month I would like to share some great ideas on how to figure out the right goal that makes sense for you and how to manage your goal so that you can accomplish it. The following is a quick summary of how I manage my athletes goals. It’s as easy as getting a piece of paper, writing them down and posting them on your bedroom wall above the light switch.
So you’re ready to write down your ultimate goal of wining that number one plate! But, before we write down “win the title”, we need to understand and be realistic about goals, and goal setting. The following is a brief explanation.
Long Term Goals vs. Short Term Goals
The difference between long term and short-term goals is time. A long term goal can be turning expert 6 months from now all the way to being a National Champion 12 months from now. Short-term goals are going to be the key improvement indicators and or performance indicators that will ensure that you’re on track to achieve that long-term goal. A short-term goal can be within the range of 2-6 weeks and usually has an emphasis on both your training and how well you would like to perform at the next race.
The key to long-term goal setting is to keep it within a foreseeable range. Meaning, don’t spend too much time or emphasis on what you want to achieve say 2-4 years from now. It’s ok to think about it from time to time, but the key is to keep it within visual reach.
To achieve long-term goals you must have a road map (plan) to drive you there. Your map will be identifying your short-term goals and focusing on achieving these. Achieving the short-term goals are going to enable and propel you into the right direction of achieving the long term one.
How to set up Long-Term goal(s)
Your long-term goal needs to be challenging, yet realistic and within your capability. This means if you’re a beginner today and you say within a year you want to turn expert, this is a good long-term goal. If say today you just turned expert and within a year you want to be a National Champion, this might be too difficult and you will be very frustrated as a racer which may lead you into quitting. The key to long-term goal setting is defining several self-assessing components:
1. Based off of your current experience and success in the past 6 months, ask yourself what you’re truly capable of accomplishing? Again, this must be hard but with proper planning it can be attainable. Let’s say you’re an expert and have made 50% of your mains last year and finished in the top 20 in points. Why not shoot for top 10 as your long-term goal? The obvious plan would be to make mains more often and finishing in the top 4 to help you achieve this goal.
How to set up Short-Term Goals
What are the short-term goals that can enable you to accomplish this long-term goal? You will need to have several short-term goals with simple “goal-components” that will help keep you on the road of achieving the long-term goal. So in the case of finishing top 10 in points, you will need to figure out what will help you do so! I would recommend keeping it simple by focusing on the 3 components of: Race Event, Physical Training, and Mental Focus. By identifying these 3 component goals, you will also need to address a solution or plan to accomplish each.
Here is a sample of what the goal planning will look like with the above information in mind.
Long Term Goals:
1. 6-12 Months from today: Finish top 10 in points.
Short Term Goals (these will help you attain your long-term)
- An Event Goal
Make the main at the next event. Next event is Roseville.
Plan of action or solution: Do sprints 3x a week and work on my reaction time and power efficiency out of the gate since Roseville is a short first straight.
- Physical Goal
Improve my power both on and off the bike (sprint program and strength program).
Plan or solution: Hire a coach to help me with my physical needs and planning. Start training by doing sprints and going to the gym more frequently and consistently.
- Mental Goal
Work on my focus at the races.
Plan of action or solution: Focus on what I can control. Stay in the moment and enjoy the process!
If you can start off by having simple short-term goals for every race event, then you will see success and be closer to that long-term goal. Success happens on purpose, not by accident.
Coach Greg Romero