How do I get better? How do I set reasonable achievable goals?
The easier and faster method would be to work one-on-one with a coach who can evaluate your history, current ability, discuss your desires along with your life situation, and then create a personalized plan for you. But if you’re patient and willing to put in some work, you can both get better and set goals all by yourself.
Pick one thing. Then pick one thing about that one thing. Keep narrowing your focus. So let’s say you like hiking, and biking, and skiing, and you’ve always wanted to get into climbing, and you wouldn’t mind getting better at triathlon… It’s great that you like and do a variety of activities! If you want to get better at anything, you don’t have to give up everything, but you do have to pick one of them to improve for 6 months or more. So let’s say you pick skiing. Now pick one thing about skiing to improve. Now make a plan that prioritizes that one thing. You can and will do other things too, but the one thing has an improvement plan.
Write it down. Record what you actually do of that one thing. Start by logging it wherever and however works best for you. Maybe you integrate it into a calendar, app, spreadsheet or any system you already use. Start simple with what it was and how long you did it. Eventually you can get fancy by using specialized systems and record more data and integrate all the things you do (hint: Training Peaks) but start with anything that’s easy for you to start using. Nothing wrong with pen and paper.
How much did you do what you set out to do? How much better did that one thing get? What about that one thing got better? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the activity? What did you learn about the process? What worked well and what needs more work? From this process you have actual logged data about what and how much work gives you particular results. You also have insight into what you like, and want, and what you need more help with. Now you’re in a much better position to set reasonably challenging goals for yourself!
If you’ve done these steps and you want more detailed guidance, hire a coach. If you struggle to do these steps, hire a coach. If you want just a little more help and aren’t ready to hire a coach, give my new workbook a try!
You also don’t ever have to pay for something. There is so much great information out there available for free. Doing the work alone takes more time, energy, and an immense amount of honesty. And if I’m honest, I think we all do better when there are people in our lives we trust to guide and push us to be better people.