Setting Goals Leads to Achieving Results

Don’t you just love getting a new piece of equipment? Or workout gear?

Like a sweet new pair of cleats or a new swim suit? There’s something about that freshness. Like it holds some sort of magic because it’s never seen a bad workout or a tough day. It gives you that motivation to go out and smash your next workout.

I get that same feeling at the start of a new season.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a new swim season or tri season. Or a new season in my life like a new job. It’s exciting  because it’s filled with possibilities and opportunities.

It’s like a book of blank pages, waiting for you to write whatever you want.

I recently got home from a trip back to the US. I spent a week coaching and hanging out with university team I swam for in college.  They’re kicking off the the first couple weeks of their new season so it was a great opportunity to sharpen up my skills and learn some new things.

At the start of the season each swimmer on the team has their first goal meeting of the season with their coach. This isn’t new. Every swimmer on the team does it. And every swimmer that’s gone through that swim program before them has done it too.

In the goal meeting, the swimmer and coach discuss the events they will race that year. They talk goal times they want to hit. Stroke weaknesses they want to fix. And a whole bunch of other stuff that will help them end the year in a better place than they started it. They also set the standard for their accountability. With great goals comes great commitment…

My Goal of Effortless Swimming

In one of my goal meetings back in 2010 I remember sitting down with my coach and setting the the goal of “effortless swimming”.  I wanted to build a stroke that looked fluid, flowing and effortless to any one watching me swim.

I spent that entire year training my technique, my fitness and my mind to make fast swimming look and feel easy.

That’s cute, Rory. But what the hell does “effortless swimming” even mean? You can’t touch it or feel it, can you? And let’s be honest we all know a year is waaaay to long for someone like me to concentrate for.

True. On it’s own the goal of effortless swimming would ultimately lead to a long and painful waste of time. But I didn’t just set a goal of effortless swimming in that meeting.

To help me achieve my “airy fairy” goal I created smaller, more tangible goals. These were goals that I needed to hit on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Goals were clearly defined, easy to measure and lined up with my ultimate season goals.

The key to my success lay here… If I crossed off the smaller goals every day, at the end of the season I’d have my goal of effortless swimming.

I still keep this approach to my goal setting today. My goals may look a little different to what they looked like back then, but the process is still the same. It’s a formula that works, and so I’ll continue to use it!

If you’ve never set small tangible goals for yourself before, I want you to start today. You’ll be surprised with what you are able to achieve in a month if you start right now.

To help you, I’m to to start posting my goals for the upcoming month on the blog. Each month I’ll post up the three things I’m going to be working on that month. There’ll only ever be three, no more (you should do the same). Three is a manageable number and I know it’s possible to get three things done in a month!

Here are my November Goals:

  1. Kick off SwimFast’s Free Programing – Yeah baby 🙂
  2. Hit 5 Quality work out days each week this month (I rest on Friday’s and Tuesdays)
  3. Get active helping triathletes on Instagram again – it’s been a long time since I was on there!

Your turn:

If it will help you, I want you to post up three goals for the month of November. There’s something powerful about putting our goals (no matter how small they may be) out in public. To help you a little more I’ll sweeten the deal for you.

If you share this blog post with a friend and put your goals for November in the comments I’ll enter you into a draw. The winner will get a sweet SwimFast cap and a SwimFast towel shipped to them (any where in the world).

All you have to do is:

  1. Put your goals down in the comments.

  2. Share this post with a friend

You could be receiving some sweet as orange swag in the mail!

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6 thoughts on “Setting Goals Leads to Achieving Results”


    1. Swim at least 3 times every week in November. (total of 16)
    2. Attempt to complete all the scheduled workouts in in Nov.
    3. Get through 1/2 of a workout, without letting my feet touch the bottom.

  2. Jennifer Petersson

    Not really a goal but could be, I saw on you IG that you were out open water swimming in Dubai. Is that where you are based? I am going on vacation to Dubai at the end of November, and I am really pumped to get some open water training in (the water temperature in Sweden right now is about 4 C….). Will you do more of these? If so, can I join?

    Oh yeah, and I shared your page with my bf 🙂

      1. Jennifer Petersson

        Hi Rory,
        I can’t wait, this will be so awesome!
        Just one this though, what’s your email? Can’t find it anywhere on the page

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