If you want to set and achieve a sporting goal (or even any goal), I’ve got some tried, tested, sweated tips for you, gleaned from a large amount of trial, a good dollop of error and some sprinklings of success.
My secret formula is be super honest about what you want.
Maybe you want to run for 5 minutes, or a marathon without stopping? Want to beat your partner’s time at an event? Want to start cycling, or cycle your first 100 miles? Maybe none of those appeal to you; the trick is to work out what does.
The reason honesty is the key secret ingredient, is when you know what you really want, you will be super-motivated and committed. You’ll want to put in the right research and training before, and the maximum effort on the day, because you want it.
We need that real motivation to stop us hitting the snooze button; to get out in the cold; to train with some passion. If you don’t want it, you wont do it.
This is how I’ve run my first races, and how I cycled the whole Tour de France 2011. Could I have done any of that if I didn’t really really honestly want it? The answer is no, and I think that’s a big reason so many don’t reach their goals.
It might seem scary at first, but most of us actually do well to share our goals with some friends and family. Once we’ve told people what we’re aiming for, we don’t want to feel like we might let them down. But more importantly, you’ll probably be surprised at what an added boost your friends and family give you through their support, and how reassuring it is to be able to share your challenges and your progress with your chosen confidantes.
Fear of failure?
Of course, you might not always make the goal, but there’s glory in having committed to your best effort. Take me, I’m nearly losing count of my attempts to run a sub 3 hour marathon. My PB is 3.00.04. But it wouldn’t be that near if I hadn’t thought I honestly wanted to run sub 3, and committed to training hard, ran in the dark and the rain, ran hard on the day. If I’d said instead I’d go for sub 3.05, would I be happy? No, because my honest goal was sub 3. Although I’ve missed it (so far!..) I’m still happy because I know I gave as much as I could. I still want to achieve it too.
Is it worth it?
Back to the honesty – if you want it, then yes it is. You might not love every single second when you feel tired or wonder if you can do it. But think of yourself this time next year. Did you sit safe on the sofa or did you get honest and get on it?!
Good luck! Do post any questions below and I’ll do my best to help.