Tuesday, January 6, 2009

At the tiller

It's interesting how seemingly disconnected actions and occurrences, when looking back on them, form a path to our current location, as clear a wake behind a boat. You set a goal, an intended destination, and then move one step at a time in the direction you think will get you there. When you start out you may not choose the correct way. Sometimes you get distracted or disoriented. You can keep your eye on the goal, but it also can be helpful to look back at where you've been. What worked, what didn't. Hindsight is 20-20.

Last spring Coach Adam from Race With Purpose put out a call to his team to set several goals for the 2009 season. In addition to being the coach for this great group of athletes, he is also some kind of geeky business consultant. Honestly most of the time i have no idea what he is talking about. But one thing he said was familiar. "What gets measured gets done!", he said. Then he went on to describe a system of setting both outcome and process goals. I hope he wont mind if i copy and paste his definitions:

"Outcome goals - End goals, objectives that can be measured, either you did or you didn't. They should be specific, measurable and have a time constraint to them.

Process Goals -
The smaller, behavioral actions that will in the aggregate allow you to achieve your outcome goals. These are the more important of the two types of goals. By achieving your process goals, you all but guarantee you will achieve your outcome goals."

I went through that process and set four outcome goals with associated process goals. Now, as I embark on the 2009 season in earnest, seems like a good time to look back, look ahead, and make necessary course corrections. (The text in red indicates progress to date)

Outcome Goal #1: Improve and maintain flexibility, stay injury and pain free

Limited success so far
a)Daily self massage and stretching

Have done sporadically
b)Develop yoga practice 2-3 days per week

Maybe done once per week
c)Incorporate breathing awareness meditation into daily routine

Successful with this, now doing daily scheduled breathing meditation.

Outcome Goal #2: Reduce body fat to < ls="trans" month="7" day="1" year="09">7/1/09

Body fat now at around 25%, waist at 35.5", cholesterol control FAIL, back on meds daily
a)Make weekly meal plan at home to include “clean eating” principles, low fat proteins, more fruits and vegetables and 6 small meals daily

Started weekly organic produce delivery, weekly meal plan, lots more fruit, eating 1 large meal daily as per ayurvedic principles
b)Make weekly family grocery shopping trip to support meal plan

Sometimes more or less frequent, but this is working
c)Have at least 2 ‘family cooking sessions’ per month, to prepare and freeze meals to support weekly plan

Limited success so far, will continue to try
d)Make 3 day food log at least once monthly as a tool to further refine eating plan

Have not done since summer, will calendar monthly going forward

Outcome Goal #3
: Finish IMLP 2009 < style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">Race is July 27
a)Through fall and winter, train for sub 4:30 Spring 2009 Marathon

Scratch this, a spring marathon doesn't fit into my training plan
b)Participate in masters swimming program fall and winter 2008-2009

Tried this, got insulted by swim coach, then got sick. Scratch this.
c)Maintain aerobic base on bike through winter with outdoor long rides weather permitting on weekends, and evening trainer sessions during the week

Scratch this until March. 3 one hour bike intervals per week as per plan
d)Continue Tuesday night strength and conditioning (track) through winter

Returned last night. this is where its at for the off season. drills drills drills.
e)Identify and procure coaching services no later than Feb 1, 2009 (20-22 week plan)

Done, Endurance Nation Season plan with power, basic balanced plan.

Outcome Goal #4
: Identify a charitable program supporting the development of ‘Youth Financial Literacy’ and develop a giving program to support it
Found several candidates, continuing to discuss
a)Contact centers of influence to identify candidate organizations/concepts

Discovered this wasnt a very helpful strategy, used google instead with better results
b)Establish a meaningful and realistic fund raising target amount

Meaningful yes, realistic? time will tell.
c)Raise donations and awareness in conjunction with IMLP 2009 and RwP among my clients, family and friends.

Need some process goals here.

It's very helpful to not only review progress toward goals, but to reevaluate the goals themselves. I have made some good progress. Now I will be careful not to over correct my course. 199 days till race day.

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