What's your 2018 stretch goal?

Last week I encouraged the athletes on our team to verbalize and commit to a race-day stretch goal for 2018. With a week of unfavorable weather conditions, there was no better time for this activity than on January 1st.

A stretch goal is something that you can’t do right now – thus a stretch is required. By having a stretch goal, you provide yourself with an opportunity to set your focus a little beyond what you are capable of achieving with a bit of work, patience and luck. A stretch goal can energize you to work a little harder than what you would do if you didn’t have that goal (especially in less than ideal conditions). Stretch goals are reachable with effort and time but just because you don't reach them, this doesn't mean that you failed.

We all recognize the importance of having goals but a stretch goal puts a little more healthy pressure into the goal reaching process. A stretch goal can help you change behaviors that are possibly holding you back from reaching your realistic goals. Stretch goals can give you motivation to try something new, embrace change or to step beyond your comfort zone.

Be mindful that it’s ok if you don’t meet your stretch goal. By having a stretch goal, you will be more likely to put in more work than if you don’t have a goal that wasn’t a little bit crazy, scary and a little beyond your reach. By having a stretch goal, you may find that you can achieve more than you thought possible, even if you don’t achieve that stretch goal by a given date.

What’s your race day stretch goal for 2018? 

As you think about your race day stretch goal, create a mental picture of what it will look like, sound like and feel like to achieve your stretch goal. Is it a race time, a placement, a feeling, an action?

What stretch goal will help you get you out of bed in the morning to train and what will keep you motivated and determined to put in the work, even when you are exhausted, the weather is crummy and you have a dozen excuses to keep you from starting your workout?  Make sure your stretch goal is just out of reach but not out of sight.

Here's my stretch goal for 2018:

For Ironman #13 and #14, my stretch goal is to break 10 hours at Ironman Austria (July) and 
place overall female amateur at IMWI (Sept). For Austria, I am not sure how the times will work out to get me across the finish line with a 9 starting my finishing time (eekk - crazy to think about it!) but I need this big goal in my life to help me take risks, stretch my comfort zone and stay committed to the small things (ex. strength training) and staying present in my training. I can't control what will happen on race day but I want to look back and know that I did what I could to make the stretch goal a reality. For IMWI, I decided to pass on Kona this year so that I could focus on a course that suited my strengths, race with my athletes and leave it all out there on the course for my last triathlon of the 2018 season. Unlike IM Austria, I am only racing the competition and not the clock at IMWI and it's a stretch to see myself winning the amateur female race but I need the challenge so I don't get too complacent and comfortable with my training over the summer.

What’s your race day stretch goal for 2018?