We are thrilled to introduce one of our newest contributors to the Cybex Blog, Kim Webster. Kim has been competing in the sport of triathlon for over 15 years at all levels from age-group racing to the professional ranks. After entering into the realm of long course racing, Kim began to realize the significant influence her mental state had on race performance. She ventured into the study of sports psychology, earning her master's degree in the field from Boston University in 2013. In her first blog, Kim discusses the best way to work towards your goals.
Determined to make 2016 count and truly make a commitment to your health and well-being? Hoping to finish your first triathlon, set a PR in a 10K or lose 15 pounds this year? These sorts of goals tend take center stage as most individuals striving to make a commitment to their health can easily point a finger at what specific outcome they will strive to achieve during the remainder of the year. However, the exercise of setting goals is meaningless unless you take the time to strategically construct a plan detailing your path toward achieving that ultimate goal.
What Are Your Supporting Goals?
Consider a pyramid, where your goal is perched at the top. This is the ultimate outcome you desire to achieve during the month, the season or the year ahead. The ultimate goal keeps you motivated – it’s the inspiration that fuels your fire. But in order to reach your goal, you need to think carefully about what it will take. What specific training or lifestyle changes will help drive you toward reaching that ultimate goal? We refer to these as supporting goals. If you are able to achieve these supporting goals, you will be in the position where you have the best opportunity to reach your ultimate goal. Perhaps on the way to finishing your first marathon, you need to commit to running four times a week, lose 5 pounds and remain injury free throughout training. The notion is that if you can achieve these supporting goals, your ultimate goal will be within reach!
A Solid Foundation of Process Goals
Now for the most important piece of the pyramid: the foundation. The foundation of the pyramid is defined by process goals, which are specific, measurable actions you can take on a daily basis to help you reach your supporting goals. How can you commit to running four days a week? Establish the specific times you have available to run and write it into your calendar. Commit to a process and make it work. How can you drop your race weight by five pounds? Try keeping a daily food log, limit desserts to two nights a week or only eat at restaurants once a week. How can you remain injury free? Perhaps by strength training twice a week or committing to recovery techniques, such as proper fueling, stretching, foam rolling and massage. Choose process goals that are specific, realistic and within your control. Spend time reflecting and creating process goals that you are willing to commit to, as they are the keys to your success.
Climb Towards Success
Once your pyramid has been built, you are ready to go after your ultimate goal. The carrot of finishing your first marathon may keep you motivated, but you will need to turn to your process goals to keep you focused on how to turn your dream into a reality. Don’t just think about your goals— write them down! The simple action of writing down your goals will encourage adherence to following your plan. Post your goals in your training room, in your bathroom, on your refrigerator or anywhere visible to constantly remind yourself of your plan. Keep in mind that your process goals are fluid and should be re-evaluated on a regular basis to make sure they are driving you up the pyramid toward your ultimate goal. So take the time to reflect and establish your pyramid of goals for the upcoming racing season. This “workout” is a crucial first step if you are striving for a banner year in 2016!
Kim Webster has been competing in the sport of triathlon for over 15 years at all levels from age-group racing to the professional ranks and earned her master's degree in sports psychology from Boston University in 2013. She now juggles her time amongst triathlon training, her three young boys (ages 5, 3 and 1), acting as a USAT and Ironman certified triathlon coach through Breakthrough Performance Coaching, serving as a sports psychology consultant, and teaching part-time. Kim currently lives in Framingham, MA and can be reached via email. You can also follow Kim on Instagram and Twitter @kwebster8.
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