Motivation & Mindset

Goal Setting: Psyching Yourself Up for a 5K

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When it comes to training for a 5K race, mental prep can be even more challenging than physical prep. The Gixo coaches get it and are here to help you crush it with a tried-and-true goal setting framework: S.M.A.R.T.

With the S.M.A.R.T. method you create and follow through on goals. Each letter stands for something different, but they all work together to help you succeed.

“S” = Specific

“M” = Measurable

“A” = Actionable

“R” = Realistic

“T” = Time Bound

The “S” for specific means that we know exactly what we want to accomplish. It’s not abstract or “up-in-the-air.” It’s concrete and can be visualized.

Let’s take, for instance, running a 5K. “Starting to run” is too vague a goal — it can be easily manipulated into doing less than you intended. Instead, make a goal of running a specific race. From here, you can outline a training plan — and stay accountable. Say “running the Virtual 5K” is your main goal. Next, you must set mini-goals that build up to that achievement. In this case, that would be running a set number of miles per a week, continually increasing that number as the weeks go by. To help you out (we told you we’ve got your back!), we’ve outlined a complete, detailed training plan for this goal.

“M” is for measurable. Along the lines of Specific, your goal must be trackable. Write down how many minutes, miles, reps, etc. you do each workout. Progress is key here!

Actionable, attainable, and achievable are all wrapped up in the “A”. Is your goal doable? More often than not we set goals that are way too ambitious, because in the moment, we think we can do them. But then we get overwhelmed and feel defeated. Start small to avoid burnout. Make your initial goal something easy to achieve — say, walking for 15 minutes each day. Since the first step is often the biggest step, it’s important to set yourself up for success. Then you can build on that achievement.

“R” is for realistic. The key here is to know yourself. If you’re not an experienced runner, start with a 5K instead of a marathon. Or even start by making your goal to run one mile. Listen to your body and take one step — or mile — at a time.

Time bound is represented by the “T”. Deadlines are key to taking action! They give us a sense of urgency. Not only should your goal have a main deadline (i.e. primary goal), you’ll also want mini-deadlines along the way (i.e. mini-goals/sub-objectives).

You’ve got this, and we’re here to cheer you on. So get out there and create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and have a timely deadline. (And be sure to share them with us next time you’re in class!) Go for gold — with this S.M.A.R.T. map, we know you can get there!