Sports & Gaming

Goal Setting

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Lesson time 10:20 min

Joan explains her personal goal-setting framework, outlining how setting a “pie in the sky” goal, breaking it down into short-term goals, and then using micro goals can help you achieve anything.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: How to Motivate Yourself - The Long-term: Pie in the Sky - Micro Goals


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Goal setting is very important. I think, for anybody who's pursuing anything in life, it gives you a mark to go after. If you don't have a goal, what are you aiming for? And you don't want to go through life aimlessly. So set a goal. For me, putting a goal out there, whether it's something like a dream that I want to come true, like becoming a world champion or an Olympic winner, it gives you reason to work hard to achieve that goal. And it's the carrot that dangles, if you will. Think about climbing a mountain. I've actually climbed several mountains, including Mount Kilimanjaro. You don't just say, I'm going to climb Kilimanjaro, and then go do it without a plan. You need to think about setting a number of different goals for yourself in order to accomplish your big goal. So when I think of goals, I think of long-term goals, and I think of short-term goals, and I think of intermediate goals. And what I try not to think about is compromising those goals. So a long-term goal might be to run a marathon, just to run a marathon. Another goal for somebody else might be to run a 5K. For the beginning runner, the goal might be to do a 5K. And that means a combination of running, and walking, and jogging. And then she may say, I've run the 5K. Now I want to run the 10K. So that was now an intermediate goal. And now she's going after an even longer-term goal. You need to set goals at each and every one of those levels in order to achieve success. And whether it's a weekly goal, a monthly goal, or for me, a long-term goal, which might be running a marathon three months out from when I actually start setting my goals, I find it's a highly effective tool. [MUSIC PLAYING] So the key in short-term goal setting is to make those goals practical and sensible, and something that gives you joy. And that's something that the individual runner has to assess. In setting up a schedule for running, whether you're a beginning runner, or an intermediate runner, or an elite runner, you've got to look at goal setting as something that's feasible, something that motivates you to get up and train every day, or almost every day, and something that'll give you a sense of accomplishment when that goal is achieved. A short-term goal could be as simple as setting up workouts for a particular week or a month, knowing that these are the goals that you want to achieve during the course of a lead-up to a bigger event. Short-term goals are important to hit, because if you can't hit your short-term goals, how are you ever going to hit your long-term or pie-in-the-sky goal? So goals may look different for everyone. In setting up my yearly schedule, short-term goals might be to run a fast 5K, a fast 10K, a fast half marathon, and then ultimately, the marathon. Your short-term goals might look different from mine. But they have to be realistic for you, because, as I've said many times, running should be something that you ...

About the Instructor

Winner of the very first women’s Olympic marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson has spent her life breaking records and paving the way for female runners around the world. Now she’s teaching her personal philosophy and approach to running. Whether you’re an experienced runner or have been thinking about getting started, you’ll learn how to get motivated, set goals, and achieve victory in running and in life.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Long-distance legend Joan Benoit Samuelson teaches her personal approach to running so you can go further in running and in life.

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