We think of setting goals and we think big, bigger, biggest. But since my athletic career ended, I’ve had to revisit what goalsetting really means outside of sports. How do we embrace different seasons of life and also set ourselves up to succeed?
Being pregnant and now being a mom, I have for the first time in my life had to create different goals when it comes to fitness. Notice I did not say smaller, or easier…just different. A prime example for me was Memorial Day weekend. Typically one of my favorite weekends of the year due to the physical challenges it poses: Memorial Day Murph and the BolderBoulder 10K.
- 2015 goal: beat previous year’s times
- 2016 (32 weeks pregnant) goal: complete modified versions of both as quickly as possible
- 2017 (+ 10 month old) goal: keep child happy and complete without a meltdown
With the seasons of pregnancy and now being a working mom, the past few years have been full of change and vastly different when it comes to setting goals. However, creating goals is just as important in this stage of my life, than it was as a competitive athlete.
Okay I get it. Where do I start?
Do this. Write down 4 things:
- What is your time frame, when will you re-review these goals? I suggest making them a minimum of 4 months and a maximum of 1 year.
Weekly routine goal
- Write down your ideal week: how many times per week will you be working out and what will define a workout?
- Example: I will work out 4 times a week, either through XXX class or biking/running the neighborhood for 30+ minutes.
- These are things you are aiming to accomplish along the way. Races, strength benchmarks, personal records, etc.
- Create a minimum of 3, you really can’t create too many of these as long as they are realistic and attainable.
- Examples: Complete XX race, 20 consecutive push-ups, sub 8:00 minute mile, back squat my body weight, a strict pull-up, hold a plank for 5:00, etc.
- Now that your goals are defined, how are you going to get there? What other changes will you need to make in order to make these happen? These often times are things that may not directly correlate to your actual time in the gym.
- Examples: Wake up earlier and get things ready the night before in order to hit the gym before work; Change eating habits to provide myself more energy and fuel; Find a training buddy; Stop negative thinking; Create music playlists; ETC!
As you sit-down to create/revise goals:
- Embrace the season – whether you’re entering a season of life where your goals are ramping up or you’re entering a season where they’re ramping down, embrace it. Change is what you make it –make it positive no matter where you’re headed.
- Recovering from injury? This season may be less physically challenging but more mentally challenging; you’ll come out of this with more appreciation for movement and determination than you ever have before.
- Pregnant? Embrace modifications, they do not mean less challenging and everything is in fact more challenging for you. Your multi-tasking mom skills start now, through your ability to exercise and also be kicked from the inside. *Always consult your physician first when deciding on an exercise regime during pregnancy, it is different for everyone*
- New Parent? Keeping tiny humans alive is no joke – give yourself a break – there are days when showering and eating are things to be celebrated.
- Keep it challenging, yet attainable: Your goals should stretch you while also being realistic. Pick a routine or end goal that makes you a little uncomfortable and you know will be a challenge; but also is doable.
- Write them down: make them visible. Not just writing them and hiding them. Not just typing them and saving them to the cloud. Make them visible, make sure you see them every day – write them on your mirror if you have to.
- Find accountability partner(s): Find someone who will not be afraid to keep you on the right track. This is someone who should support your goals and care about them enough to hold you accountable during times when you feel like throwing in the towel.
- Follow-up with them: Whatever you decide your time frame is, set a reminder in your phone to re-visit these goals at that time.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is:
“Love what you have while working towards what you want”.
Goals should not be easily attainable and if they are, you’re not setting them high enough. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone, so set the bar high and continue to set the bar high. Embrace each and every season and whatever “goal” you’re working for.