Welcome to Part 2 of the Do Something Hard Challenge.
Your homework from Part 1 was to brainstorm possible goals for 2021. Ideas ranged from riding daily (in Wisconsin!) to finishing Tevis, running a 10K, showing a horse, eating better, drinking less, quitting smoking, gaining strength, and losing pounds. Awesome!
If you missed yesterday's post, you're not too late. Just hop over here and chime in!
Some of us - myself included - brain-barfed up a bunch of ideas and now need to whittle our lists down to something clear and specific.
As you can see below, my brainstorm list is way too long to be effective. If I put equal weight on all those things, my head (and calendar) would explode. So, I’ve rolled them up into three, main categories: fitness, horses, and community.
You'll notice that my list includes some overlap between categories. It also includes a bunch of non-specific, half-baked ideas. Some of them are more the means to an end than the end itself. To better get my head around what my targets should be, I reviewed Goal Types 101. You'll probably recognize these three types of goals:
Outcome Goals: These are the “end result” goals. Finish Tevis. Win a 10K. Run an obstacle course race.
Performance Goals: These goals represent the components necessary to support our desired outcomes. If I want to do a Spartan Sprint, I need to be able to run 5 miles, do sets of 30 burpees, and climb a rope.
Process Goals: These are the daily action goals that move us toward the level of performance that enables us to achieve our desired outcomes. I need to do a 30-minute run/walk workout today so eventually I'll be able to run 5 miles and complete my Spartan race.
I went through my list and identified what type of goal each of my ideas might represent:
Well, that was illuminating.
As I did this, I noticed a few problems:
1. Some of my ideas are too small for Do Something Hard goals, and it makes more sense to roll them up into something larger. (Improve posture? Sure, I'll do it, but it doesn't need to be on this list.)
2. Some of my ideas aren't linked to specific outcomes. They are processes without a clear purpose. For example, I had the idea of publishing two blog posts per week. But why? What outcome would I be driving toward? Must ponder.
3. Some of my ideas are way too general. What the heck does "lean out" mean, anyway?
To crystalize my goals, I need to flesh out some ideas and weed out others. Allow me to refer back to the challenge rules:
1. Each goal has to be challenging but realistic.
2. Each goal has to be specific and measurable.
Let's take the outcome goal of finishing a Spartan Sprint. Several of my performance goals can be targeted at that outcome.
Note that I increased the specificity of the performance goals:
"Get back into running" is now specific and measurable. It's also challenging, for a lousy runner such as myself.
"Increase strength" now means working up to 3 sets of 5 reps of backsquats with 125 lbs (my own bodyweight) on the bar.
I also added and deleted some ideas:
"Lean out" is gone because it's difficult to measure accurately when you're already on the lean side and not trying to actually lose pounds. It's also not critical to completing a Spartan race, plus it should happen automatically if I train and fuel properly.
I added the burpee performance goal because it's a great way to ensure I focus on metabolic conditioning. Besides, I'm bound to have to do some during the race per Spartan rules.
As you can see, I haven't drilled down into my process goals yet. We'll get to that in an upcoming post.
Here's Your Homework
Take a moment to ponder what kinds of goals (outcome, performance, or process) are represented in your brainstormed list.
Do you have a process goal that isn't hitched to an outcome? If so, what might the relevant outcome goal be?
Do you need to be more specific about what, exactly, you're asking yourself to accomplish?
Drop your thoughts in the comments. I'll add mine, too, as I work on my horse-related goals.
Thanks for dropping by! I'm an endurance rider in the northwest region of the United States. I believe that how I eat and move impacts not only how I ride, but how I think and feel. This blog is about the practice of being my best self for my horse. I hope you'll come along for the ride. ~ Tamara
The Sweaty Equestrian