Yep, it’s that time of year again. That time where we reflect on the year that has passed and we start to plan the year ahead.  Resolutions, goals, intentions… whatever you like to call them, most of us will ponder on what we might be capable of achieving in the next 12-months.  

For the athlete, it usually means choosing a new race to conquer, a new PB or even a new sport altogether. For some of us it’s recovering from that reoccurring back pain or committing to a daily stretch routine or core workout. Maybe it’s improving your diet or simply getting more sleep?

Whatever it is…how can you maximize your chances of success and avoid being one of the 98% that set a resolution only to break it by the 1st February?  

To kick some ass this year you simply ask yourself and plan around what, why and how….

WHAT

Most people have an idea of what they want to achieve, but more often than not, it’s painfully vague. “I want to run faster”, is not exactly a goal; it’s more of a desire or a wish.

To classify as a goal we need to be S.M.A.R.T. Our goal needs to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound.

Instead, if you want to run faster try “I want to run my local Parkrun in under 25mins by the 1st June”. 

WHY

After deciding on what you want to achieve you need to really reflect on the ‘why’.

Why do you actually want to do this? Does it align with your core values? How is this going to better your life, make you a better human or serve others? Is this really your goal or are you simply trying to keep up with the latest fitness fad?

Ask yourself what will be the consequence if I don’t achieve this goal? How will it feel and look once you’ve achieved your goal?

Because the truth is, if you don’t have a strong enough ‘why’ then the chances of failure are pretty high.  Take some time to really reflect on your life and what you want and if it’s not a ‘hell yes!’, then it should be a no.

HOW

That old saying really rings true, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’.

Take out a notepad and pen and sketch out the steps to your success. How is it that you’re going to run faster? Do you need a coach? How many times a week will you train? What times of the day are best to train?  Do you have any niggles that need managing? Do you need to see a physio or do some strength or stretching work?

You don’t need to write an essay or have a complex excel spreadsheet but you do need a plan and if you’re not sure where to start, find an expert or a coach who can help you get there. They’ll not only help you pave the way to success but they’ll hold you accountable along the way.

And finally, enjoy the journey. Truthfully, this is where the magic (and hard work) really happens. You’ll learn more lessons and grow exponentially from the road that you take to achieve your goal.

What is your what, why and how for 2019?