New Year’s Goal Setting

New Year’s is a time for many to reflect on where they have been and where they want to be next year. Let me ask you, did you accomplish your goals this year? Be honest, I’m not judging, I sincerely want to know. I know I didn’t hit my goal of running 1000 miles this year, and I have plenty of excuses why I didn’t make that.

This brings me to my next question, why didn’t you make that goal? For me it was because I just wasn’t that into the goal in the first place. I wasn’t really committed to it. Life happens to all of us and staying committed to a goal like that takes effort and a plan, I wasn’t really up to do either of those for this one.

All this brings me to my next point: how to commit to and accomplish your goals for next year.

It doesn’t really matter what it is. It could be getting a podium in an obstacle course race, qualifying for the World Championships, finishing a trifecta or even losing 10 lbs. The rules for goal setting stay the same.


1) Set a S.M.A.R.T goal. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. This is the beginning of your journey.

Specific be very clear on what you want. Don’t just say, “I want to be in shape”, find something to shoot for. We like Spartan races because they have specific criteria and are something very specific.

Measurable: know what you will use to measure success and how to measure it

Achievable: knowing how long something will take and being a little conservative will go a long way. When I decided I wanted a professional cycling contract, I was already a well known amateur, had over 1000 races under my belt, and was ranked nationally. Knowing the time line for something will be important.

Realistic: let’s be honest, most of us will not climb Mt. Everest. Set a goal you know you can achieve

Time-Sensitive: this is the most important part. Set a date for the goal. This makes it more real.


2) After you have set your goal comes the hard part. The work.

Having the goal is great, but if you’re not willing to put in the time and pain to get there it will never be realized. Our motto at RFT Coaching comes from our family crest “Aspera Non Spernit”. It means “Fear No Hardship”. Achieving a goal can be hard, but if you put that work in day in and day out, never shying from the challenge, you will have it.

Understand there will be good days and bad days, that you will have giant leaps forward and minor step backward. It’s all part of the process. Embrace that pain, embrace the suffering and you will learn to no longer fear it, you will look forward to it.

Having a coach who has been down this road before helps, especially when you want something challenging. We know the challenges you will face and we know how to get you through it. We are just as much invested in your success as you are.


3) Setting micro goals.

After setting your big goal(s) and committing to the work, setting micro goals is going to be even more important. This is your road map to getting to the big goal. If you goal is 12 month out, set a 6 month goal that has a direct relationship to the big one. If it’s an Ironman Triathlon, maybe do a half Ironman at the 6 month mark. Once you have the goal for the middle, set a ¼ time goal and a ¾ time goal. In this scenario it would look like this:

12 month goal: Ironman Triathlon competition

9 month goal: full Ironman distance for swim, bike and run in a single week

6 month goal: half Ironman Triathlon competition

3 month goal: full half Ironman distance for swim, bike, run in a single week

This is just an example, but you can see the clear roadmap to achieve the 12 month goal.


4) Don’t be afraid to change the micro goals

As you train and your benchmarks come and go sometimes you don’t quite make the micro goals. That’s ok. Remember that these goals are not the big goal; they are simply mini tests to ensure your training is on track. With a long-term plan you can make adjustments and still hit your goal. The trick is not to be so married to the micro goals that you forget the real goal.


5) Ask for help

Long-term goals and planning take time and practice; having a coach who knows how to set them and monitor them makes this process easier. No matter whether you choose to enroll in our group classes, our obstacle race classes, personal training or online coaching we are here to guide you and monitor you. Taking the work out of your hands and putting it into ours means all you have to do is the work, the planning and adjustments are up to us.


We are looking forward to an epic year at RFT Coaching and look forward to achieving your goals right along side you.

Happy New Year to you all, tomorrow is the first day of the new you!