Set Your Goals and Plan for Success

As the new year rolled around this time, like previous years I decided against making resolutions. To me resolutions are no more than hollow declarations of hope for the future. Perhaps a cynical view, however, I rarely see people the following year excitedly mentioning how their resolution came to fruition. On the contrary, I see people making the same resolutions year after year, always believing that the upcoming new year will finally be the year that their dreams will come true. The tradition of making resolutions seems more a wish or a hope for an outcome without direction or a plan.

Making The Plan, Creating a Path

Instead, I start evaluating my year starting in December. Did I achieve my short-term or long-term goals? Where did I fall short? What could I have improved? What were my

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successes and my shortcomings? This analysis will help form the goals of the upcoming year. New Year’s Eve is traditionally a celebration and I celebrate my successes of the outgoing year. I count each win and I am grateful. At the same time, I am equally grateful for the shortcomings and fails as they drive me forward, inform my future decisions and keep me hungry for success. By the end of December, I have a good idea of the areas I need focus on and begin a map of how to get there.

The beginning of this year, I have been busy “goal mapping”. It’s not enough to have a goal, I need a plan to reach those goals. I have two to three goals for the important areas of my life: family, spiritual, triathlon, finance, work, health and friends. In each area, I have different goals

white box
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and I’ve mapped out different ways to get there. I realized that in previous years, I have focused on just one or two aspects of my life to focus on and improve, but that has never made me completely happy. Perhaps it’s because all of these areas of my life are very important to me and together, make me who I am. I want to nurture every part of me, so I have to map out a plan to get there.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

I realize that even though I want to give all aspects of my life 100% effort, I only have 24 hours in a day like everyone else. I’ve had to map out what my plan will look like for the year, consider my milestones and decide how to implement that plan on a daily basis. For example, one goal is to be a better friend to increase my social life. For me, that would mean going out with friends once a month (dinner, tea, a run in the park). To do this, I need to do a better job at keeping in touch and being available more.  To start, I would need to check in with each of my friends by phone, weekly and by text three times a week. These are such easy steps and something so simple to add to my daily plans. It may seem robotic and disingenuous to schedule such social interactions, but I feel like my friendships are important to me and this is a way to show that I want to make the effort to keep these friendships strong. In general, this is a small effort that makes a big impact and get’s me closer to my goal. I set two to three goal in each of the seven areas of my life.

Challenges and Next Chapters

Triathlon has opened my eyes to my personal strength, mental fortitude and dedication. I truly believe that I am capable of anything. Things that scared me in the past are now things that are on my to-do list for the future.

Photo: Ironman Cartagena 2017, Jeri Villarreal

I have brought the same passion and dedication that I have for triathlon to all other aspects of my life. I have a tremendous desire to grow, challenge and change for the better. This year I entered grad school to pursue a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Cyber Security. I am challenging myself in a new way and I cannot wait to see where this new adventure takes me. I need to grow in all aspects of my life, to be the best version of myself. Not only am I competing in 4 Half-Ironman (70.3) races in 2019, I will also compete in my first full distance Ironman (140.6) and I have no doubt that it will further prove to myself that I am the athlete I always dreamed I could be. There are so many more amazing things I have in store by why spoil the fun and reveal them now? Stay tuned for more history-making and barrier breaking in 2019!



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