Tag Archives: Goals

Planning for Success

 

 

In my job working in projects we talk a lot about setting things up for success and that got me thinking about how I can help myself work towards my goals in successful ways.

2015 is going to be a big year for me. I turn thirty and have set myself my biggest challenge to date of completing a half ironman distance triathlon.

So I need to set myself up for success and in order to do that I need to plan.

I currently use a Moleskine journal to record my bullet journal and that is working really well for me. I have decided to add to this by using the Moleskine Wellness journal template you can get online to stick into your own notebooks. I like the goals pages and how they are set up into both monthly and weekly.

The monthly templates I have used to insert all the events I am taking part in and will add specific weight, fitness, and personal goals at the beginning of each month.

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The weekly ones I will use to be very specific about what I want to achieve that week. This will be update to date with any commitments so I can be realistic and flexible in my approach. There is no point in saying I will always do my ideal week of swimming club, running club, and cycling, if I have to go away for work!

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I really like being able to tick things of my list and I think this is why the bullet journal idea has worked so well for me as it allows me to be organised and tick things off a list. So going back to weekly goals will help me take small steps to reaching my bigger goals. I won’t be sharing all the details of my goals, but I wanted to share how I organizing my goals and therefore setting myself up for success.

Planning 2015 Already

Event entries for next year are already opening and lots are opening over the next couple months – especially triathlons! So I thought I better get planning to make sure all the ones I want to do are in my diary and budgeted for (it all adds up!).

So what am I thinking right now?

January – Skiing for 30th

February – Round One Wiltshire Masters Gala

April – Good Fri Tri (pool based) and Brighton Marathon 10k

May – Royal Wootton Bassett Triathlon and Cotswold Sprint Triathlon

June – Cotswold Women’s Only Sprint Triathlon and Round Two Wiltshire Masters Gala

July – Big Cotswold Swim (2 mile lake) and Pier to Pier Swim (1.4 mile sea)

August – Cotswold Classic 70.3 Triathlon and maybe an Events Logic distance swim (3km or 5km)

September – Cotswold Sprint Triathlon

October – Round 3 Wiltshire Masters Gala

November – Swimming Club Championship Galas

WOW lots going on already!

I would like to do an event each month of 2015. Not all crazy challenges, but something to keep me focused and motivated. So I will probably look out for 5k or 10k runs and cycle events for those missing months (March and December). There is also the possibility of an aqua-bike event, but I don’t have the date for that yet. Also my running club are thinking the London Dualathlon, but I would only do that as part of a relay team.

I also want to get back into doing Parkruns once a month. I haven’t done one yet in 2014 and I miss having that way to monitor my progress.

I also plan on volunteering at triathlons again next year, but need to plan it around my training to make sure it doesn’t impact.

It sure does add up when you start looking at a whole year. I will need to pay entry for all of these and also make sure my kit is right through the year. I’ve currently planned in two trainer purchases and bike services. Clothing will have to be budgeted in as required, but I have become a fan of the range Aldi bring out for cycling. I would also like to purchase tri-bars for next season to ease the pressure on my back on longer rides. I am planning on also getting a proper swimming wetsuit and have a wish list of a dryrobe and new trisuit! This is on top of the normal swimming attire I have to get fairly regularly. It is all adding up!

So much to do! I suppose it is good that I’m only planning on a skiing holiday next year and that is in January! This will take up a lot of my time, energy, and money. Therefore aspects of my life I don’t prioritise as highly will be impacted – sorry that means social events that aren’t fitness related! If you want to see me you’ll have to give me plenty of notice next year!

I’m really looking forward to 2015 and am planning on ending 2014 on a high and set up for an active year :)

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Cotswold Sprint Triathlon

Last weekend I took part in my third and final triathlon of 2014 (my 4th overall) and really enjoyed it. It was at the local lake where I do my open water swim sessions so it is nice and familiar and is the same course as the Women’s only one I did back in June.

As I sprained my ankle for the second time this year only a few weeks ago I made the decision to take part, but without any goal other than to try and finish (I told myself to do one lap of the run and see how I felt) and to enjoy it. Probably a weird sentiment for an event, but I was actually successful at both parts of my goal.

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It was a mixed event with the males and females split into waves. I was in the second wave for Senior females and enjoyed the swim. The only downside was that I hadn’t practiced in my wetsuit beforehand as it has been so nice, so my breathing went a little wrong half way round and I had to take a breaststroke break to get my rhythm back. A little disappointing as the swim is my best bit, but I still came out 26th out of 135 women for the swim over the 750 metre course.

I took my time in transition and this even probably had my longest ones, but I did not want to fall over and hurt myself. I would like to work towards not wearing socks for sprint events, but I just can’t bring myself to just yet. I wore my ankle support in the swim as I knew that would take ages to get on if I tried to do it in transition.

I then headed out on the bike. The best bit of this was that they have improved where you have to run to the bike mount. It is now no longer as far as it used to be and goes out where the bike in comes back to the transition, so it was only about a minute jog, compared to 5 as it was before. I got on my bike (another thing I would like to work on is jumping on!) and set out at a decent pace. My ankle was a little uncomfortable so I just enjoyed the ride through the Cotswold Water Park area. I was actually a little faster (13 seconds) than in June so was happy with that. It was a little windy on the course, but the sunshine made it a nice temperature. I got overtaken by a lot of people on the bike, but I managed to overtake 2 ladies from the wave before mine. I came out 120th out of 135 women.

The second transition went okay. The only thing I did different this time was grab a bottle of water to take round with me as I really struggled with hydration last time and I knew I was not going to be fast at all. I started off at an easy jog and got into a nice rhythm. I had to walk a dip in the course as I was worried about being unstable on my ankle, but managed to jog the whole first lap otherwise. I then made the decision to do the second lap and it felt better than the first. I walked the dip again, but jog all the way round and managed to speed up a little into the finish. It really helped to have fellow running club members marshalling and Jace doing the commentary as this spurred me on. I was a lot slower than the one in June, but I was happy that I was able to jog at all! I came in 135th out of 135 women on the run section.

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Overall I finished in 1 hour 40 minutes and 20 seconds, compared to 1 hour 34 minutes and 54 seconds back in June. I had a nice morning though and am really glad I took part as the week leading up to it I had a lot of doubt and wanted to pull out, but I knew others from running club were taking part and I wanted to be part of it. I love this photo that was taken of Shelly, Me, and Katie at the end. Dan and Andy also took part, but had disappeared at photo time. I felt so good at the time and I really think it comes across in this photo. I always dislike my race photos, but I have some great ones from after my races that bring back all the good memories of the events.

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On a side note, this completed my Project Lifestyle goal. I originally had down to complete 4 triathlons, but due to the sprained ankle issues I cut that goal back and am extremely happy with 3. I have also helped out on the Saturday before 2 of the 3 I completed, and also marshalled at 3 long distance triathlons and will be marshalling this weekend. I feel I have learnt a lot this year about the sport of triathlon and have really enjoyed seeing both side, by taking part and marshalling. I am currently thinking about future goals and where I want to go with this sport, so keep an eye out for posts on that later in the year!

Big Cotswold Swim

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I took part in the 2 mile Big Cotswold Swim and I haven’t put my report up!

It was a grey Saturday morning, but the rain stayed away (at least until the start of the race) and I was up at 6am to make sure I could have a proper breakfast before doing a 2 mile swim at 8:45am. I usually don’t eat before my morning swims, but knew this would be harder and further than those so made sure I got up extra early to get my porridge in. Also to drink enough as there is nothing worse than swimming and being dehydrated and surrounded by water you can’t drink.

The one mile swimmers went off first and then it was the 2 milers. We had a warm up and acclimatisation 10 minutes then a briefing of the course before being set off from the beach. I was at the front as really just wanted to get going and knew it would easier to be overtaken than have to overtake during the start of the race. I managed to graze the tops of my feet during my dive into the water, but luckily the water kept them cool and although it was irritating to begin with they eased off very quickly.

I swam in a wetsuit even though the water was 20 degrees Celsius. I have done some short swims with a wetsuit at that temperature, but nothing beyond a kilometre. So went for the added buoyancy and warmth. I was glad I did as the lake had patches of very cold areas and where it had rained the top of the lake was quite cool all over. I think it was warmer in the water than it was in the air that morning.

I had a good swim and kept strong the whole way. I like the course layout of two laps right round my local swimming lake. It worked well I caught up to a few of the one mile swimmers just over half way round my first lap. I ended up swimming the whole way with one lady. We just couldn’t get past each other. I was sighting better than her, which slower me down, but she kept having to correct her course, which slowed her down. I then took to speed a bit too early before the last bouy and she got me there.

I came out of the water in 31st place out of 113 swimming the 2 mile event and in 56.37 minutes. My goal was to try and come out in under an hour as the last open water swims I had done were 3km and took about 59 minutes so I knew it would be a challenge to get 3.2km in that time, but I also knew I had been working hard and getting stronger and I smashed it by 3 minutes!

Overall it was a very enjoyable swim that I pushed myself on. I got a free place at the running club Christmas do last year for helping out with the triathlon swimming sessions and for being the best swimmer in the running club!

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Project Lifestyle June Review

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A little later than planned for June as I was away with work and although the Lake District is amazing and beautiful, the mobile signal and internet connections are rubbish. Also I had a lot of work to do and relationships to continue to build.

My full report can be found here on Google Docs.

Overall June was not what I planned or set out to do, but it was a great month. I feel positive about the progress I have made on the project as whole beyond the goals I have set out to achieve. I am really thinking in terms of my own values and how I live my life according to them rather than always working towards the next achievement. I will take a look at each of the workstreams now, but I am not going to get hung up on what I didn’t achieve. I went with the flow of life over the month and it felt good.

Nutrition – I kept attempting to use MFP pal and would do quite well until I lost routine. So for me it is figuring out my values when it comes to food and eating well for my body and life and being able to adapt to situations that are not in my control. I was away with work a number of times last month and I let things get away from me. I had a bit of a low moment and was beating myself up in the middle of the month. I try not to do that, but it is a hard habit to break and one I will continue to work on.

Fitness – I completed by second triathlon of the year and got back to swimming in the pool. I didn’t take part in the second Wiltshire gala as I did not feel in the best place with swimming when that took place. My activity dropped a bit during the month. I can’t seem to get motivation after doing an event and the longer it takes to get back into routine the harder it is. Good intensions well travelling have made progress as I did go for a short run and swim while away with work, but nowhere near as much as normal. Fitting everything in feels hard at the moment so I need to spend some time reflecting on why that is.

Social – This has been a good workstream this month. I have gone with the flow a bit more and enjoyed it. I haven’t booked myself up weeks in advance, but committed to things I wanted to do and held out on others until closer to the time. I’ve felt more in control of what I’ve been doing this month. Control is the wrong word, maybe more self-assured of my choices. I’ve worried less about what others think if I can’t or do not want to do something. It’s quite refreshing and something I intend to carry on with.

Mental Health – I didn’t even pick up the book I bought, but I intended to and still do. I finished my Mindfulness course and have taken some of the tools I found useful and added them into my routine. I have also started using Headspace again. For me it is about not being afraid to take the time out I need to rest and recharge. I have been making a point in work to take 10 minutes outside on top of my lunch break with colleagues. I have also made sure I keep time for myself to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it – and yes that does mean a 4 hour nap on a Saturday afternoon if I need it, or a walk around the local park on my own.

Career – I feel this is moving well and I feel more confident in myself this month and the role I am playing in my current job and the value it has. I am also working on understanding myself better and therefore making it easier to look and understand my future career options. I am not used to everyone being so open and talking about development, but that is how it is in my current organisation and it is great. I don’t feel stuck and know there will be opportunities to go into, but right now I need to concentrate on doing the best I ca do in my role and build relationships with everyone I am working with and when that is a national thing to do it does take time.

Overall I feel Project Lifestyle is working towards what I want. I need some time to reflect this month and to revaluate if required. I also want to focus on my values, rather than my goals and make sure the decisions I am making meet those and that will help me get unstuck when it comes to my goals as I will understand my motivation and values behind them better. It is all a work in progress, but I like the progress I am making.

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