There were 5 categories that quickly emerged from all the responses:
When asked about their big goals for the year, they respond with profound doubt and struggle to define any specific goal. This group consistently use phrases like “not sure I can”, or “might be too much” when describing their goals of wanting to sign up for races or start training for specific distances. They don’t have clear goals, they are generally doubtful about the season, their abilities, their physical limitations, and their commitment. Yet they still are actively involved in training and racing triathlons.
A slight step up from the Doubtfuls, this group is optimistic about their outcomes but lacks determination with goals of ‘I hope to do a sprint’ or ‘I’m hoping to do better than last year’. They know what they’d like to do this season, but lack the conviction and confidence to see it through. Holding on to hesitancy only brings low energy and drive, fuels a lack of confidence, and adds significant indecision and lack of focus.
Surprisingly, this was the largest group. They are more positively directed yet still have undefined goals. Statements such as “I want to do a few races”, “My main goal is to have fun” and “I really just want to avoid injury”. While staying injury free is important and takes smart training to achieve it, a big goal should be an energizing, exciting and positively-motivating focus of your triathlon life.
More clear and committed, the Incompletes typically know what they’d like to achieve yet still have some ambiguity. They know what they want to do but lack an extra edge to make it crystal clear in their mind and super focused in their actions to get there. Comments like “I want to finish an Olympic distance” and “Beat my previous time in a Half Ironman” provide a significant improvement in focus and would greatly benefit from even more specific description on what can be measureable. ‘Finish is top 5% of age group’, ‘improve time by 10%’, for example.
5. Clear and focused
This last group stood out loud and clear from the others in their commitment, focus and excited energy for their year ahead. They know what they want with such sharp language and clarity of mind it is obvious they are not just going through the motions. “Complete my first sprint in 1:20”, “Improve my transition time by 2 minutes and achieve a personal best in the swim and run by 10%”. Their Big Goal is specific, well-defined, measurable and best of all, their answers exuded excitement, drive and energy even if it wasn’t known if they would achieve it or not (but the likelihood of success increases exponentially with the right mindset).
What is the difference between a triathlete that constantly pushes him/herself to attempt longer distances, achieve top rankings in their age group and continuously break personal records, and one that struggles through training and races ? It’s focus, belief and knowing WHY you want to achieve the things you do. Plus, having a powerful and personal vision in your mind, and already seeing and feeling what it will be like to actually do it makes all the difference. It doesn’t mean you have to be the best triathlete in the field, but the desire to be the best you can be is the same for all. A key factor is having goals that fuel you everyday in everything you do.
No matter what level of triathlon experience you have now, you can begin today to become more Clear and Focused about your goals.
Having a clearly articulated, motivating goal is the greatest lesson you can take from this list. You may be doubtful, hesitant, undefined or incomplete at this point, but the simple act of putting specific, measurable and motivating elements into your Big Goal immediately gives you more excitement and energy to go after it day after day. And when you do this, I know how much fun you’re going to have working towards achieving each and every one of your goals.
Determine which category of triathlete you are now and together we can build from there until you are the Master of Your Inner Game. Did I mention this is going to be Your Best Year Ever?!
To unlocking your potential and exceeding expectations.
Leave a comment and let the other readers know which group you fall into and what you could do to move up the ladder and become more Clear and Focused…and more excited about your triathlon season.