It seems a little surreal to write that number—after all, where did 2014 actually go?
With the inevitable turning of the calendar (and the ensuing few weeks of scribbled out 2014’s) comes a a mixed bag of optimism for a new year of swimming, and the sometimes bittersweet reflection on the year that could have been.
For many it is also a time where resolutions will be created. New goals scribbled down. Plans to swim faster than ever. New habits and plans are scrawled out.
But then what happens?
If you are like an overwhelming number of people who create resolutions, not a whole lot. Things change for a little while. There are hints of change, of a powerful new direction, of breaking out of old habits.
Then it hits you. Those first pangs of disinterest. Of lethargy. The “ah, screw it” moments.
This year, forget making resolutions. Instead, make and start acting out on your goals today.
How to Make a Plan to Crush 2015
Without a doubt one of the funnest parts of swimming is setting goals. Of dreaming about what is possible, about imagining ourselves going to the far reaches of our talent and physical abilities. In our goals we are invincible, awesome, and shockingly good looking.
For a few moments think about what kind of swimmer you want to be at the end of the year. Now, look at where you are right now (and set aside that creeping sense of discouragement for the time being), and hold this athlete up to where you want to be and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to close the gap?”
- What is the exact time and splits that I want to swim? How much faster per length do I have to go?
- What are the areas in my training where I can see the biggest improvements? Am I warming up properly? Cooling down well? Are my breathing patterns all over the place?
- Can I make more out of the main sets? Am I keeping my technique together when my muscles are fading and my lungs are burning?
- How are my non-swimming parts of my swimming doing? Is my start fast and crisp? Could my turns use work? Am I avoiding my underwater work?
- What are the biggest lifestyle or out-of-the-pool improvements I can make? Am I getting enough sleep each night? Eating well and consistently through the day? Am I fueled up and ready to rock prior to each practice?
Alright, so that was a lot to throw at you at once, but it should give you plenty of ideas for things you can improve on moving forward. But these are all general functions and concepts, to really see progress you need to make these things actionable, and make a plan to actually show up every day and work on them.
[I put together the highlights of this article as well as a bonus goal setting planning worksheet in PDF form that you can download here.]
With a few of those different areas we are going to get real specific on what you are going to do to improve.
Here are a few examples:
I want to improve my underwater dolphin kick.
- Spend five minutes doing vertical kicking after workout 3x per week.
- Do 5 dolphin kicks off every wall during warm-up and warm-down.
- Spend 5 minutes stretching my ankles before every workout.
Getting an extra hour of sleep per night.
- Pack my breakfast and lunch the night before so that I am not in a rush in the AM.
- Getting homework done during my spare block.
- Having the same bedtime every single night.
See where we are going with this? With each thing you want to improve in your swimming pick 2-3 things that you can consistently and measurably do in order to improve.
Forget making resolutions.
And don’t wait until New Years either.
Put together a goal plan to take your swimming to the next level today so that you can leave those resolutioners in the dust in 2015.
Ready to punish the competition and your goals? Click here and download your bonus goal setting worksheet.
YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more. Learn 8 more reasons why this tool kicks butt.
NEW: We now have motivational swimming posters. Five of ’em, actually.
Join the YourSwimBook weekly newsletter group and get motivational tips and more straight to your inbox. Sign up for free here.