The Endure EQ

The Endure EQ Vol. 019 | How to set your annual goals so that you can actually achieve them

Published over 1 year ago • 4 min read

Hello Reader,

Welcome to Vol. 019 of The Endure EQ.

Every week you'll get a deep dive into a topic related to endurance training, maximizing your potential or reaching peak performance.

Let’s jump in.

How to set your annual goals so that you can actually achieve them

After the first week of January you probably have a good idea of some goals for 2023.

But do you have a plan to achieve those goals.

Making a plan is the easiest way to ensure that you will reach your goals.

Block out time to work through this process.

I suggest you read this newsletter in full first.

Then grab a pen and paper and start writing these things out.

3 key goal setting principles

The 2 major types of goals

There are to major types of goals you need to be aware of:

  • Outcome goals
  • Process goals

You will set both by the end of this volume.

An outcome goal is the destination that you are heading. It defines the overall vision of what you want to achieve. And they provide a source of motivation as you are working towards that goal.

E.g. Finish first Olympic Distance triathlon.

A process goal defines how you will get to your destination. It sets the tasks, actions and habits that you will need to achieve in search of your overall goal. Think of this as the step-by-step guide to get to your goal.

E.g. Swim 3x per week this winter.

Who do you want to become?

In the process of setting goals, you want to go deeper than achieving the goal.

You want to embody a new identity in the process.

So instead of just finishing a triathlon; become a triathlete. It’s a small shift but instead of asking: will this get me to my goal?

You can ask: would a triathlete do this?

And btw if you train for swim, bike and run YOU are a triathlete. No qualifiers needed.

So in setting your goals ask: who do you want to become?

Sustainable Progress

Goals should be sustainable.

You probably already ready 3 articles on why New Years Resolutions fail. It comes down to the fact that progress is unsustainable. Don’t set a goal of training 2 hours a day if your starting point is 30 min a day.

That jump will leave you: tired, sore, and potentially injured.

Make your goals sustainable.

Ask yourself: Can I maintain this effort for an entire year?

If you can, it’s probably sustainable.

If you doubt it, start smaller. Build up from there.

The EE Goal Setting Process

Set your personal OS

Just like a computer we all have a personal operating system.

A series of values, visions, habits and guiding principles that make us who we are. These typically remain very static over our life. But we can use them to guide our decisions and what we want to achieve.

Values are the easiest one to start to think about.

These can be generational, personal, or biased by media.

Before setting your goals outline your personal values.

The ones that guide everything that you do in life.

Consider how they align with the areas of your life: Career, relationships, health, wealth and experiences.

Here are some of mine (written as action statements):

  • Be kind to all
  • Be strong and fit
  • Continue to grow everyday
  • Explore new things
  • Be creative and innovate
  • Influence and lead others

Writing them as an action statement can guide you into the correct decision.

Use these as the guiding principles of your operating system.

Dream big

A step down from your personal OS is your goals.

You can consider these the vision for what you want to achieve.

In this step dream big.

What is the Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goal you want to achieve?

Don’t hold back here, because if you extend the timeline out long enough you can achieve it.

These goals should align with your personal OS and will guide the remaining goal setting process.

Some questions to consider as you dream big:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What finish line do you want to cross?
  • What would make your experience a success?

These big goals set the direction and will provide an intense sense of motivation and drive

Break into smaller milestones

You can do that by extending the time line and breaking it into smaller milestones.

Think in 10, 5, 3, 2, 1 year process for your BHAG.

Some questions for reflection:

  • How much of a timeline do you want to put on this goal?
  • How can you break that large goal into a series of smaller steps?
  • What is a goal I can reach in 1 year, 2 years, etc.?

The larger the goal the more runway you might want.

I like to think in 2-3 year processes for my big training goals.

  • Year 1 sets the foundation
  • Year 2 build the base
  • Year 3 sharpens for the race

Gains in endurance sports can come after decades of training. So don’t be afraid of long-term goals.

Break it into monthly targets

Your yearly goal now needs to be actionable.

This is where you will set the process goals; the steps needed to achieve your goal.

Some questions:

  • What do you need to do to achieve your yearly goal?
  • What makes up that larger goal?
  • How can you make your training sustainable?

These small monthly (or quarterly) targets will build the foundation of your training program.

If you’re building to an olympic distance; maybe the first goal is to swim 1000m, the next month 1500m.

Daily actions/habits

The final step is to consider the actions you can take on a daily basis to achieve your goal.

In pursuit of your goal, you will be changing your habits and actions daily.

What do you need to do on a daily basis to achieve your goal?

This is the ultimate form of sustainable training; repeatable daily for years.

These habits will form the basis of your weekly program.

Your habits will ultimately get you to your BHAG.


The EE method for sustainable goal setting

  1. Define your Personal OS
  2. Dream big - set a BHAG
  3. Break that goal into a multi-year plan
  4. Break that year plan into monthly targets
  5. Break that monthly target into daily habits

This works for training goals, but also every other areas of your life.

Consider all the goals in your life.

What daily habits will get you there?

Thank you for being here!

- Chandler

When you’re ready here are 3 ways that Excel Endurance by Chandler Scott can help you:

  • Join our free community: find more resources, ask questions, and share workout ideas. Join Community
  • EE Training Squad: Monthly sustainable training and access to on-demand race programs. Join Squad
  • 1-1 Coaching: Take your training to the next level with 1-1 access to Chandler. Coaching Request

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The Endure EQ

By Excel Endurance

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