Examples Of S.M.A.R.T Goals For Performance Reviews The SMART Goal Process for Cyclists

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The SMART Goal Process for Cyclists

If you want to improve your cycling performance, you need to develop some kind of training program. Setting goals is your first step in this process. This is an important step because your goals embody what you most want to achieve as a cyclist. For example, you may want to set a personal best in a particular race, complete the first run of the century, or advance your race category. Regardless of your goals, I suggest using the SMART Goal process to improve your chances of success. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound:

1. Specifically. Your goals should be specific and stated in performance terms. For example, if you want to lose weight, your goal might be to “lose 10 lbs in the next 8 weeks.” If you want to improve your performance in a race, your goal might be to “finish a 40-kilometer time trial in less than one hour by the end of the race season.”

2. Measurable. A goal is measurable when it is easy to determine whether it has been achieved. The weight loss goal described above is easy to measure. In 8 weeks or you will weigh 10 lbs. less or you won’t. Likewise, it’s easy to tell if you’ve completed a 40km time trial with less than an hour to go before the end of the race season. In contrast, the goal of “greatly improving your race performance” is not easily measured.

3. Achievable. One of the biggest mistakes cyclists make in the goal setting process is setting unattainable goals. Your goals should be challenging, but they must also be realistic. For example, if you are a beginner cyclist, the goal of completing a 40 km time trial in less than one hour is probably unrealistic. Set yourself high goals, but make sure they are achievable.

4. Relevant. This may be the most important element of the SMART Goal process. Your goals should be important to you as an individual. Don’t set a goal because your coach, teammate or cycling partner has that goal. Set goals that are meaningful to you. Our goals are what motivates us. You are much more likely to achieve goals that have personal and/or professional significance.

5. Time limit. Make sure that every goal you set has a specific time frame for completion. This allows you to easily determine if this has been achieved. It also makes it more likely that you will achieve each goal because you know the clock is ticking!

The final consideration in the goal setting process is choice procedure in regards to outcome Goals. Outcome goals are probably more common because they focus on ultimate achievements. Goals such as finishing in the top 10 in a key race, completing a 40km time trial in one hour, and earning enough race points to upgrade from Category 4 to Category 3 are examples of outcome goals. You will probably want to set one or more outcome goals at the start of each cycling season. However, you may also want to include process goals. Process goals are focused on implementing your training regimen. For example, “to ride 5,000 miles during the calendar year” is a process goal, as is “to perform two interval training sessions per week for 12 weeks during the intensity phase of my annual training plan.”

Process goals have two advantages over outcome goals. First, failing to achieve an outcome goal can be a very demoralizing experience. You have more control over process goals because they focus on program implementation rather than results. Second, it can be very difficult for relative newcomers to cycling to set outcome goals. If the athlete has very little experience, it is difficult to quantify the expected performance in cycling competitions. In cases like these, it will be more effective to use process goals.

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