Goals are meant to be SMART.
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Which is where most new year resolution’s fail. Resolutions are never SMART or smart. My resolutions involve
- scoring a hat tick in the Scottish Cup final.
- winning a gold medal at the Olympics.
- do the floss.
Since I’m too old now for any of these to actually happen I’ve already failed my new year resolutions. They were DUM goals.
But aren’t DUM goals the best kind? Who knows what you can do unless you set yourself a completely unrealistic, definitely daft, probably mad goal? Columbus wouldn’t have crossed the ocean, Neil Armstrong wouldn’t have stood on the moon unless someone somewhere had said to themselves “you know what, I can do this!”.
And most of the times you fail. But in the failing you’ll probably do much more than you ever would have done with a SMART goal because realistic goals are boring. That’s why, for this year, my goal is to WIN Challenge Roth.
Now, the last time I tried an Ironman distance race I completed it in 15 hours. Now the winning time at Challenge Roth might be half that at 7 hours 46 minutes, but that only means I need to go twice as fast. And, last time I did an Ironman, I stopped for a sandwich halfway through the bike course. That’s already 15 minutes saved, if I eat it on the bike.
And I’m not very good at getting out of my wetsuit. I really struggle with getting my legs out once the wet suit bunches up around my ankles. At Challenge Roth, they have wetsuit assistants who help you get changed. That’s an extra five minutes.
Now, I just need to find another 7 hours and 20 minutes and I’ll be on the podium!
So, this year I have set myself the challenge of winning Challenge Roth. And while I know the chances of me winning are quite small, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Because I have a goal. A DUMB goal. And that’s the best goal of all!