Personally I have had varying degrees of success within the sport of triathlon and have seen the same with athletes in regards to their personal goals. I have spent some time reflecting, reading and thinking about what exactly goes into the best recipe for success. What I have come up with is below. What you will also see is that they are inter-related and I might go so far to say that if you don't have one of them, it will be difficult to have the others and your chances of success decrease significantly.
You first need to have an high level of enjoyment in what you are doing. Not just in training, but also while racing. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, the chances of you sticking to it are much less, especially when the going gets tough or when you face a set-back. I suggest that you reflect and find what gives YOU enjoyment with the sport and make those "things" a primary focus. Remember that this is different for everyone.
- Setting Goals.
We all need goals in life because it helps give us direction and passion. There has to be a reason why WE do things. Goals can range from race times, to weight loss, to just "x" number of workouts per week. Give this some thought, incorporate what you enjoy and write them down.
Routine is something that helps athletes be better at what they are looking to accomplish, it also helps them make sure that they spend ample time focused on other areas of life when they need to. Creating a routine will help with the following:
* In staying present in whatever you are doing.
* In making sure that your lifestyle is sustainable.
* In being consistent with training on a weekly, monthly and annual level.
* In helping you stay organized and keeping you from feeling overwhelmed.
Once you find enjoyment, you have goals set for yourself and you have a sustainable routine, you will likely find that the motivation takes care of itself. I see a lot of athletes try to pull motivation from sources other than from within and I can tell you that it doesn't work. Most athletes need to find intrinsic motivation; no coach, no training partner and no else can provide that for you.
There are many other components to succeeding, but these are some of the important ones that I wanted to share. Happy Training (literally!)