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PRO INSIGHT

Effective Goal Setting

Pro Insight - Effective Goal Setting


Everyone has different expectations, priorities, values and ambitions, and goal setting is no different. As it is the mapped relationship between you and your potential, taking a comprehensive view is crucial.


Everyone has different expectations, priorities, values and ambitions, and goal setting is no different. As it is the mapped relationship between you and your potential, taking a comprehensive view is crucial.

Measure your ambition
against your own ability

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This is a really important starting point when setting goals, and one that fundamentally needs to be answered from a place of honesty. The beautiful thing about exercise is that you are able to intuit progress and see results.

There is however a significant caveat: in fitness the ceiling moves. You can advance beyond your capacity, but only when you no longer accept that your limit is fixed and push for more. This is a defining fact of fitness, but you need to understand how far you can move the dial.

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"Measure your ambition against your own ability..."

_

This is a really important starting point when setting goals, and one that fundamentally needs to be answered from a place of honesty. The beautiful thing about exercise is that you are able to intuit progress and see results.

There is however a significant caveat: in fitness the ceiling moves. You can advance beyond your capacity, but only when you no longer accept that your limit is fixed and push for more. This is a defining fact of fitness, but you need to understand how far you can move the dial.

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Keep focus on the long term,
as well as the short term

"Keep focus on the long term, as well as the short term..."

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It is really important to make sure your goal setting has the right balance of granular detail and broad perspective. Not only that, you need to recognize when to shift focus between either.
 
When training hard we use overload sessions to push our fitness up, but in the short term we feel tired - what can feel like a backward step in the short-term is actually a big forward step in the long-term. Analyzing a time frame that is too short or narrow to include your broader view can lead you to rushed decisions.
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It is really important to make sure your goal setting has the right balance of granular detail and broad perspective. Not only that, you need to recognize when to shift focus between them.
 
When training hard we use overload sessions to push our fitness up, but in the short term we feel tired - what can feel like a backward step in the short-term is actually a big forward step in the long-term. Analyzing a time frame that is too short or narrow to include your broader view can lead you to rushed decisions.
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On the other hand, getting stuck with a long term perspective often leads you off track in the short term. Because you are focused on a big target, recognizing when you're starting to head off track is harder, and it can be a little while before you notice there is a problem.

This is most commonly found when people over-train and don’t realize it until it is too late, by which time they need to take some time off and recover before getting back to the program.

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Make sure you
set yourself markers

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On the other hand, getting stuck with a long term perspective often leads you off track in the short term. Because you are focused on a big target, recognizing when you're starting to head off track is harder, and it can be a little while before you notice there is a problem.

This is most commonly found when people over-train and don’t realize it until it is too late, by which time they need to take some time off and recover before getting back to the program.

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Having milestones is really important to help keep track and get a measure of where you really are. This is as much motivational as it is for your goal. There is nothing more motivating than seeing your ability increase. If you find that you need to adjust your plan, these markers provide solid points of departure.

Tiredness or fatigue from training masks your true ability at any stage by holding you back, so it is essential to understand that if you want to be at your best you need to taper a little. That means withholding a little on your efforts before critical events, and depending on your fitness level, could be a couple of days, up to 10 days, or even 2 weeks. I recommend when goal planning to set markers that will help you see progress.

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Make early season training
a central part of your structure

"Make sure you set yourself markers..."

_

To get the best out of yourself, every single session is important. When I was goal setting, I used to view early season training as the training that meant when the time came to train hard, I was fit enough to assimilate as much as possible. In short, the goal of my early season training was to allow my body to take all that work load on and move me forward.

 

A long way out from our objectives it is easy to be more relaxed about what we are doing like it is less important. This just isn't true. It is all equally important! A little more emphasis on early season training will help you counter a more complacent approach in those training rides and help you meet your goals later in the season.

_

_

Having milestones is really important to help keep track and get a measure of where you really are. This is as much motivational as it is for your goal. There is nothing more motivating than seeing your ability increase. If you find that you need to adjust your plan, these markers provide solid points of departure.

Tiredness or fatigue from training masks your true ability at any stage by holding you back, so it is essential to understand that if you want to be at your best you need to taper a little. That means withholding a little on your efforts before critical events, and depending on your fitness level, could be a couple of days, up to 10 days, or even 2 weeks. I recommend when goal planning to set markers that will help you see progress.

_

"Make early season training a central part of your structure..."

_

To get the best out of yourself, every single session is important. When I was goal setting, I used to view early season training as the training that meant when the time came to train hard, I was fit enough to assimilate as much as possible. In short, the goal of my early season training was to allow my body to take all that work load on and move me forward.

 

A long way out from our objectives it is easy to be more relaxed about what we are doing like it is less important. This just isn't true. It is all equally important! A little more emphasis on early season training will help you counter the a more complacent approach in those training rides and help you meet your goals later in the season.

_

Recognise progress,
and relish it

"Recognise your progress, and relish it..."

Rounding Up?

In summary, goal setting should be taken seriously, it is not just about cycling or sport, it is about your relationship with your potential in any walk of life and how much you really want to reach. It is a personal journey framed by markers, some intentional and other random and out of your control. All sit within a structure for you to get to know yourself better and ultimately work towards what you really want.

_

To stay motivated and committed it is important to recognize progress. Sometimes this takes a bit of discipline - it's easy to get carried away on the next goal or target, but to create sustainable progress, you need to take a deep breath sometimes and let yourself feel good about how far you've come.

If you don’t recognize how far you've come it is possible to over-reach psychologically. Equally try to avoid rewards that counter the progress you have made, like too much cake. Set markers and accept failures as lessons and opportunities that instigate a better understanding.

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To stay motivated and committed it is important to recognize progress. Sometimes this takes a bit of discipline - it's easy to get carried away on the next goal or target, but to create sustainable progress, you need to take a deep breath sometimes and let yourself feel good about how far you've come.

If you don’t recognize how far you've come it is possible to over-reach psychologically. Equally try to avoid rewards that counter the progress you have made, like too much cake. Set markers and accept failures as lessons and opportunities that instigate a better understanding.

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In summary, goal setting should be taken seriously, it is not just about cycling or sport, it is about your relationship with your potential in any walk of life and how much you really want to reach. It is a personal journey framed by markers, some intentional and other random and out of your control. All sit within a structure for you to get to know yourself better and ultimately work towards what you really want.


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Good luck and enjoy the ride...

 

Good luck and enjoy the ride

_

To stay motivated and committed it is important to recognize progress. Sometimes this takes a bit of discipline - it's easy to get carried away on the next goal or target, but to create sustainable progress, you need to take a deep breath sometimes and let yourself feel good about how far you've come.

If you don’t recognize how far you've come it is possible to over-reach psychologically. Equally try to avoid rewards that counter the progress you have made, like too much cake. Set markers and accept failures as lessons and opportunities that instigate a better understanding.

_

"Recognise your progress, and relish it..."