How to really achieve your goals in 2023

How to really achieve your goals in 2023

Just a month into the new year and a new semester, there’s still time to reflect on the past year, specifically the goals you’ve set and achieved. There is also time to determine what changes need to be made for next year. To maximize your 2023 season, here are three things you can focus on: developing smart goals, maximizing winter training sets, and cross-training outside of the pool.

Looking ahead to 2022, what were your goals? Did you get everything you wanted? If you did, great! Now, it’s time to think even bigger. Point to new time standards or the next set of cutoff times. Achieving your goals above means you’re on the right track and doing the right thing to improve in the pool.

Now, let’s say you didn’t achieve your goals. Instead of seeing that as failure, see it as a learning opportunity and adjust your goals accordingly. For example, in 2022, one of my goals was to complete a Half Ironman triathlon race during the summer. Training was going well until I got injured and finally had to withdraw from the race. Instead of being hard on myself, considering the circumstances, I thought back to the solid training I had put in and the races I had done. I realized that I had challenged myself and tried something outside of my comfort zone. There was a victory right there, even if I didn’t reach the specific goal I had set for myself. Goals are bound to change, as circumstances do all the time.

Now, to achieve those goals, you have to be willing to work hard. This means getting through tough winter workouts in the pool, as well as working hard to recover. Coaches know how important it is to increase distance and throw tough sets at yourself, especially in the winter and at the start of a new year. It is important not only to be able to work with these sets physically, but also mentally. After watching a difficult set, some swimmers become psyched up immediately before it has started, setting them up to fail or not get the most out of the set. Getting over the mental hurdle starts with a good group of training partners and encouragement throughout your workout. It may also help to think about the outcome of how the set will prepare you to achieve your goals and how completing it will bring you one step closer.

To achieve your goals and be the best swimmer you can be, you have to go the extra mile. In my case, I have found that cross training outside of the pool has led to better results and faster swimming. Examples of this can be strength training, other forms of cardio, and even participating in other sports. My favorite cross-training methods are running and biking, because I’m building my cardiovascular endurance in ways other than swimming. Through this approach, I have been introduced to triathlon. By participating in other things outside of the pool, I’ve had more fun training and been able to improve myself doing the things I love.

With 2023 already a month away, I hope you can take this advice and translate it into improving yourself to achieve new heights for yourself and the season.