Last Updated: February 8th, 2021
Happy New Year 2021!
This is again that time of the year when we get busy Goal Setting
But most of the time, we don’t stick with it.
The main problem is, we don’t set it up properly and hence we find it difficult to stick with it.
Using the below guidelines I could achieve my most of the goals last year.
Best of Luck!
How to Set SMART Running Goals in 2021?
1. Be Specific
The problem with most goals are that, they are too generic.
For example, I want to loose weight or I want to build running Stamina.
However, since we don’t quantify it exactly, we can never be sure if we have actually achieved our goal or not.
So, be as specific as possible.
One way to ensure that is, see if your goal answers the who, what and when.
It should not be generic like I want to start running.
Make it specific like, I want to run 30 min everyday or something like that.
A specific goal has many advantages.
First, it will keep you motivated as you will know the exact number you are targeting
Secondly, when you will see that you are reaching closer to your goals, you will be very excited and may accomplish the goal faster
Thirdly, you’re less likely to give up as you will be making continuous progress
2. Your Goal Should Be Measurable
You cannot improve something, if you cannot measure it
So, make your goal measurable.
If you can measure your progress, it will help you to stay on track, maintain your motivation and strive for more.
But how ill you figure out if your goal is measurable or not?
Check if you can answer these questions with your goal setting like How much? or how many?
Once, you have answered these questions, you need a way to tack that. You can go old school with that
Use the old fashioned wristwatch and a piece of paper and pen
However, I would always prefer fitness trackers over pen and paper.
They provide you with a lot of data and more accurate than old school and some of them cost as less as $20.
3. Is it Attainable?
I’m guilty of this.
Many times I’ll set such goals which are not at all attainable.
For example, when I decided to get up at 5:00 AM in the morning, I set the alarm and tried hard to get up
The first two days I succeeded. But from the third day on wards I slept in.
Where did I go wrong?
I was used to getting up at around 8:00 AM in the morning.
So, when I suddenly tried to get up around 5:00 AM, I was trying to change a life long habit in one day
It was unattainable. Hence, the result is a failure with a capital ‘F’.
Instead, later when I pre-poned my rising time by 5 min every other week,it was attainable and I was a success.
So, when setting running goals also, you need to think about it.
Take into consideration your current fitness status.
For example, if you are just a beginner, try setting up a goal to run 20 min every other day.
Next for the first week, run only 5 min every other day.
Once you get used to it, add another 5 min to it. Gradually you will reach that 20 min mark.
4. Is it Relevant?
Human beings though being intelligent, shows a lot of herd mentality
We generally try to follow the crowd.
This gives us an inherent feeling of security and sense of belonging.
But then again, we all are different and after following the crowd for a while, we may feel that this is not relevant to me
So, what you need to do?
Find out if the goal that you are setting is relevant to you or its just peer pressure.
You may see everyone run a marathon and you may want to aspire for that…but do you really want to run for say 2 hours at a stretch?
Or is 5K or 10K your thing?
May be you want t become a sprinter or you just want to stay healthy.
No matter what is your aspiration, make it relevant to you and don’t buckle down under peer pressure.
If the goal is not for you, then you will soon loose all the motivation and will give up.
There is no point of starting then. So think it through and make it relevant.
5. It should be Time Bound
You want to lose 10 Kgs. Great!
But by when?
If you don’t have an answer to that, then you don’t have a SMART goal.
And that means you are not serious about your goal or to the very you don’t have that sense of urgency to achieve you goals.
A timeline attached to your goal is a secret signal to your subconscious brain that the goal is important.
So, you will strive towards making it work.
But if you don’t have a timeline attached to it, you will actually become a slacker and will never achieve you goals.
So, don’t be that guy or gal. If you are reading this post, then I know in my heart that you are serious about your goals
So, attach a timeline to your goals.
For example, I want to lose 10 KGs in the next 90 days. Or I want to run continuously for 30 min in the next 90 days.
How to define your SMART Goal?
To define your SMART goal, start with this question:
1. Where are you currently?
Try to answer these questions:
Have you ran in the recent past?
Were an athlete?
Have you ever run in your life?
Is there any injury that you are currently recovering from?
Any other known weakness that you may Have?
Where you need to focus on?
Do you want to improve your speed work?
Time or Distance?
2. Where do you want to go?
These is where relevancy comes into picture.
What would you like to achieve
Which race do you want to run and when?
What should be your personal record?
How many days you want to run continuously?
When do you want to run? Is it in the morning, evening or at night?
After setting the goal, break it down into smaller pieces, so that you can start achieving them easily
3. How will you reach your destination?
Create a plan of how you will reach your goal on a consistent basis.
If you don’t have a plan then you are setting yourself up for a failure.
The more detailed your plan is, the more success you will have in achieving the goal
Write down your goals…
You then will have 33% more chance of success…
Setting up a SMART goal is easy. Just follow the above guidelines.
Once you have the SMART goal, then create a plan.
After that, you will just have to stick to the plan and I promise that you will see results.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
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