Setting Yourself Some Goals For 2012

We hope you had a peaceful and rewarding Christmas with your family and friends! After a pleasant break and with the new year coming, now is the perfect time to reflect on 2011 and set yourself some goals for 2012. Here are our five tips on goal setting:

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1) Make your goal something real and measurable, for instance successfully completing a certain event or swimming a certain distance or split. This helps highlight how far you have come and gives you an actual 'Yes I've done it!' moment. More vague goals such as 'I want to become a more efficient swimmer' never give you a finish line to celebrate on.

2) Make sure your goal is something important to you, something you would love to achieve and are excited about. This positive emotion will help you ride through the inevitable bad session along the way.

3) If your goal is too easy you won't be motivated to achieve it but if it is too hard it will feel completely out of reach. Set your goal right between these two points so it will be a real challenge but is still something you feel your can just achieve, this will keep you motivated and on your toes. (This is the "Sweet Uncertainty Principle" - more in a future post.)

4) Give yourself a target date long enough to make some good improvements but not so long that you become stale or risk burnout. A period of four to eight months ahead is about right. If you have an important target further away then set yourself one or two sub-goals along the way and get focused on those first.

5) Tell someone else your goal to help commit you to it. In fact, why not tell us yours in this post's comments here?

Happy New Year and Swim Smooth!


christophe scheire said...

after seven years of left side breathing i wanna become a bilateral breather. Started 2 months ago pretty easy with some not-preferential side breathing drills, and I'm on my way - bilateral is the WAY!

hoosierpatterson said...

I will improve my triathlon swim time. Currently I swim about 40:00 over 1.2 miles. I will this season reduce that time to 33:00!

michaels said...

Good idea to have goal. I will swim IMFL comfortably in under 1:30 - even in choppy seas ;-)

David Murray said...

-a modest objectice of 100m is under 2 minutes
200ms in 4 minutes

Third longer
swim 1600 meters nonstop 35 minutes

Suggestion for a Swim smooth blog .THE PERFECT KICK?

I came to swimming late in life after years of mountain running and Rugby, my swim kick is very poor, I am aware that I tend to sissor kick when tired, increasing drag creating a declining performance spiral.
Can you suggest drills to assist, I have been using flippers to help loosen the ankles and do try to focus on flutter kick from the hips in the leg kick drills.

Warren said...

1500 in tri down from 29 to 27 minutes...shouldn't be too difficult if I can avoid panic attack and hyperventilating - a feature 300m's into my 2 races this past year...

Unknown said...

I'm 51yr old, but this is my year for marathon swims:
1. Feb 4, Maui to Molokai (8.5miles)
2. early June, Bay to Breakers (10.5m, San Francisco)
3. early July, Straits of Gibraltar (~14m)
Swim Smooth has been and will be a great asset for reaching my goals.

Craig Coombs said...

I'm 51yr old, but this is my year for marathon swims:
1. Feb 4, Maui to Molokai (8.5miles)
2. early June, Bay to Breakers (10.5m, San Francisco)
3. early July, Straits of Gibraltar (~14m)
Swim Smooth has been and will be a great asset for reaching my goals.

Anonymous said...

2 goals for 2012:
- 400m in 25m pool under 5:50 before end March 2012
- 1900m 70.3IM swim under 30:00 before end August 2012
cheers & thanks for the great swimming advice!!

Anonymous said...

To build my stamina.I am usually worn out, and get out after 1500m. Would like to build throughout the year to be able to do sessions of 3000m

Anonymous said...

I's like to swim a 2k 1/2IM in under 40 min.

Jim Rosing said...

qualify for Kona in August at IM Canada.

Paulo Neves said...

1st To complete the "Desafio Islas Cies" - 10Km crossing on the 1st of September 2012
2nd To be able to swim 16X100m intervals @1:35/100m turning around in 1:45 on a 25m pool.

Richard Betancourt said...

After 16 marathons I wanted to try triathlons, last Dec 2010 I couldn't swim more than 50 meters. I completed 2 sprints, 3 olympics by end of the season. This year my calendar is 3 Olympics, 1/2 Ironman and a full Ironman by Sept. I'm a late bloomer (53)thanks for the tips.

drjillb said...

Goal already set - English Channel relay in September 2012. But what to do in 2013 is the question!!

Anonymous said...

October 2012, I am going for a medal in the World Fire Fighter Games, Sydney Australia.

Jenny said...

March 2012, Jetty to Jetty swim be able to swim 800m within 15mins.

David said...

happy new year mates. brilliant post as usual. as for my objectives: my first olympic distance tri and swimming 100m in less than 1'45''

Rob Rusconi said...

Last February after six weeks of treatment for my shoulder I set myself the target of a fresh water 10km. I'm set for that this coming February and have in the meantime set a PB for 5km (not bad at age 41), subjected myself to some great coaching and found Swim Smooth! Always a pleasure to read your weekly post and greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa, not a bad site for altitude training for anybody who wants to visit.

Anonymous said...

Always been a swimmer but more of a 'bobber' i guess until 2009 when i did the Great North Swim in 40mins 9 seconds. Did it again last year in 38 mins 47 seconds. Now i have a dream. 2013 Channel Swim........i know you said 'realistic goals' BUT i started Masters swimming in September and swimming regularly (4-5 times a week in the wetsuit) Did the half hour postal swim and swam 1620m in 30 mins !! next step Weymouth 10k and supprting another swimmier to do the channel in Sept this year. Channel DREAM or a realistic possibility ??? You tell me :-)

shaun branegan said...

Swam Challenge Barcelona in 71 minutes last year. Just moved up to 55-59 age group so targeting sub 70 minutes.

Duncan House said...

Love your insights into small improvment & motivations each week. Reaching that competitive edge this year, so for my sprints, my goal is 750m in <=17mins.

Ronaldo said...

In 2012 I really want to improve my turns!Do you have some tips to send me of how to have sucess on it? Happy 2012 for all!

richardb said...

To get under 6 minutes for 400 metres freestyle

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