“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
These lines, often attributed to Goethe, seem particularly appropriate as the calendar turns the page into the New Year. If you have had your sights set on a dream you have never quite been able to act upon, heed the call. Begin it. Begin it now.
Here are three key steps to help you put flesh on that ambition:
1. Set a Goal
Put your goal down in writing, using the SMART mnemonic as a guide. This is the first step to making your dream a reality. Namely, goals should be specific, measurable, challenging yet realistically attainable, relevant to the current point and time of your life, and time-bound. Then share the goal with others, and enlist their support. Learn more with these ten guidelines for effective goal setting.
2. Create a Plan
Once you have given your goal some materiality by writing it down, next you need to create a concrete plan to take you from here to there. To learn how to create your own training plan, check out The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Systematic, Recovery Based Training.
3. Monitor Your Progress and Adjust Your Course
A goal and a plan require monitoring to keep you on the right path. Keep track of your training using the Training Peaks online training log. Periodically schedule benchmark workouts to test your fitness and assess your progress. Use feedback along the way to make adjustments as needed to stay on target. Keep in mind that the path from a goal’s inception to fruition is rarely a straight, smooth line.
Happy New Year, and train smart!