Are we setting ourselves to win in 2023?

Are we setting ourselves to win in 2023? Yeah let’s talk about those Resolutions and Goals!

By Amber Desjardins

As an athlete, I’ve been doing wheelchair racing since 2017.  When I think of how I got started it was setting a goal of what I wanted to see for myself.  A bigger goal that I wasn’t really attaining or striving for because it was out of my vision to manifest.  It took me numerous times to trim the goal down to a more realistic and effective goal that was attainable which was eventually, “I want that first race.  A color run!”

Getting to that run I had to do and learn many things.  I had to learn that just because I had my bigger goal I still needed to make benchmark goals to reach that big goal.  Benchmark goals to help create consistency so I could train regularly.  I had to start learning about pace, myself in what I could handle running and I even had to learn to navigate the roads I was running in my wheelchair.

A color run isn’t a “serious” run in the terms of running and doing races for some.  For me though, it was and I treated it as such.  To many others it could be the same as me.  For me starting at a Color Run was a fun event to do with my friends to support me to see how I like running and races.

When I think of New Years Resolutions we make let’s take a second to think about them.  Are they set where I’m going to work on it for 12 months?  That weight loss goal resolution is it still going to be there come July?  When I check in then will I see progress?  For most of us including myself is that New Years Resolutions tend to be set in December or even early January.

Failing to meet New Year’s resolutions every year is why when I started running I switched from creating and saying resolutions and using goals instead.  Using goals for me is better.  Goals are flexible.  They can be flexible.

If you don’t meet a goal, just set that same goal again and go after it striving to obtain it.  As Confucius has said, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”   It’s just like when I started running my goal was just to run.  I had nothing else I wanted when I started.  For me that wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t challenging.  It wasn’t motivating to me.  I would maybe run once a week when I started out.  I’d run in my wheelchair so hard that I ended up getting injuries because I wasn’t being mindful of my actions.

I really like the quote I’ve seen circulating social media, “you win when you help others win.” Yes, you!  I want you to win!  I want you to set your goals at the beginning of the year.  I want you to crush them!  I want you to win!

Since I want you to win I want to give you one tip of advice on setting goals that I have learned.  That one tip I will give is know and remember the acronym “SMART” to help.  “SMART” stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time based.

To use this acronym in helping to create your goals be specific.  Cover all the bases of who, what, where, when and why in your goal.

Next, think about how you will measure your goal.  How will you know you are making progress towards your goal?  How will you know when your goal is achieved and complete?

Once you answer those questions the next thing to ask yourself is if the goal you are aiming to achieve is achievable and what within what you want in your running?  In running we often talk about our “why’s”.  The question of why we are running.  Does it match up to that why?  How does setting this goal get you closer to why you run.

The last thing to decide is when the goal you are setting will be complete.  There a race you want to do?  How long to do you need to meet your goal?

Using the “SMART” acronym can help all of us set the most amazing goals to win this year in 2023 because we all should win this year.

So my friends, don’t get discouraged when obstacles come your way.  Stand firm that you can accomplish anything that you can set.  If you fail, like I have many times, it’s okay!  Take some time reflecting of what worked and what didn’t work.  Then pick yourself up when you are ready and try again!   Don’t give up on what you want to have happen.  I’m rooting for you.  I hope you're rooting for me back.  Let’s win!

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