Being confined during this time of “Shelter-in-place,” we have all had a lot of space to think about our lives, our goals, and our futures.
In this space, I became acquainted with the Goal Setting process of SMART. It goes like this: Choose SPECIFIC goals, make sure the progress you make toward them is MEASURABLE, the goals should be ATTAINABLE and realistic (but don’t be afraid to go big), the goals ought to be RELEVANT and have meaning and purpose in your life, your goals need to be TIME-BOUND with an achievement date.
So with those guidelines, starting as of 3/30/2020, I want to open up about my goals in a public space, so that I can be held accountable to keeping them.
My goals relate specifically to my self-image, health, and athletic achievement. A few things about me: I’m competitive. I enjoy pushing myself. Without set plans I tend to get off track. I have never been skinny…always “husky.” (To say I have a sugar-tooth is an understatement, I have many sugar teeth) I struggle with self-image. I have high expectations for myself. I believe I have a lot of untapped potential. I believe hard work can best talent.
So, going through this SMART process. I’d like to lay out my goals in plain sight. I plan to use my Instagram Account: @sweatysteven to document my progress in these areas. My goals may seem petty or silly to some. They may seem extreme or lofty to others. But these are MY goals, not yours. If you’ve come to judge me either way, I want none of it. All I ask is for good vibes.
-So here we go-
Overall GENERAL goal:
FEEL AND LOOK HEALTHY AND STRONG
- Have a strong race at the Backcountry Rise 50K (races are true testing grounds for fitness, mental fortitude, and competitive ability. I’ve always felt that I have it in me to have a good race, I’ve just never put a solid race together. Often an unhappy stomach or leg cramps has gotten in the way. I’d like to remedy that at the end of August at this race).
- Complete a 2-3 day, non-stop trip around the Wonderland Trail in July/August 2020 (Despite all my adventures, I’ve never done 100+ miles on foot just for the heck of it. I’ve only completed that distance on foot in one go during the HURT 100 race in 2019).
- Follow an entirely plant-based diet (I’ve experimented over the past 5 years testing various diets: Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Keto, American “-Whatever you’re hungry for.” And I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me, I feel Plant-based (Vegan) has been the one that I genuinely feel like I can hold to, that makes me feel good, and that, to me, is sustainable for the long haul now and later in life.)
- Bring my body weight down from 205 lbs to a “race weight” of 165 lbs, a BMI of 21 for my 6’1 height.
MEASURING these goals:
- Run 6 days a week. Time on feet should gradually rise from roughly 10hrs a week now, to 20+hrs a week by September.
- Improve my aerobic endurance over the next two months. Use a HR monitor strap. From April to the end of May, 4 out of 6 runs each week should be run under my aerobic threshold (150BPM). As fitness is gained, I should see gradual gains in my ability to run faster paces at under aerobic threshold.
- Record my weight weekly. Each week I should lose roughly 2 lbs in order to stay on target. This is totally doable if I am being aware of my nutrition.
- Visit a doctor every two months (end of May and End of July) to get my nutrition, vitamins, and blood tested. Adjust my plant-based diet accordingly.
Are these goals ATTAINABLE and how?
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
- No excuses, get each days workout done no matter what (even if super early or super late).
- Swim laps on my off day as active recovery.
- Prep and plan plant-based meals. Try new foods. Have go-to foods. Never stray.
- Morning Meditation for at least 10-minutes as soon as I wake up (realign with my goals, prepare mind for the day, release stress, envision my success)
- Daily strength and stretching sessions.
Is this all RELEVANT to me and who I am?
I think these specific goals naturally come together to complete my general goal of feeling and looking healthy and strong. In addition, through achievement I conquer many of my insecurities: poor self-image, lack of commitment, poor self-control.
Completing these goals will help set up a path towards confidence and satisfaction in my life and career. It will also force me to keep to a set regiment of positive life choices.
Are these goals TIME-BOUND?
These goals all have a set time. End of August is the real peak point. But as I track my progress I will have expectations at certain moments throughout the journey. Eating plant-based is a NOW and ALWAYS goal. The other goals require monthly progress check-ins to ensure I’m on track.
NOW I’M OFF!
Setting goals is exciting and daunting. Putting those goals out on the interwebs is also scary. Am I setting myself up for failure? I think not. I’m following the SMART approach and I think it’s pretty smart. I have a plan. I’ve set up a way to measure my progress. And I feel that my achievement of these goals will give me purpose and satisfaction in life.
Wish me luck!