Before each season, each runner on the Gloucester Catholic cross country team sets down their goals for the upcoming season on an index card. These goals serve as a road map to personally motivate each runner for the season ahead. Goals are a great way to show you where are and where you want to go. Setting and achieving goals builds self confidence. To be worthwhile, goals must meet the following criteria:
- Goals must be positive.
- Goals must be specific or precise.
- Goals must be something you really want.
- Goals must be consistent with your own values.
- Goals must be reevaluated from time to time.
- New goals should be set if some goals have been met.
- Areas of improvement should be addressed if shortcomings are identified in pursuit of your goals: i.e.,"I need to get more sleep in order to reach my goals".
- You should set some low level goals that are incremental and achievable. You should also set a stretch goal that is tough to achieve but possible-- and some goals in between that will be moderately difficult.
For runners, performance goals are the best--goals you have control over, rather than outcome goals that depend on other people or conditions out of your control.
"I would like to come in the top seven runners in todays meet" is better than "I would like to win the most courageous award at this meet today".
After brainstorming goals and picking the goals that motivate and mean the most to you, remember to keep your goals SMART:
Setting goals could lead to a season of great running accomplishments you never thought possible.