Step 1: Framework
In true strategy nerd style, I have created a framework called The Athlete’s Scorecard™ (in the spirit of the Balanced Scorecard) to capture all the elements which contribute to my overall goals. There are 2 primary categories that are typical drivers for athlete/health goals: The Animal (my body and mind) and Competition (events, or self challenges)–we are normally chasing one or both of these items.
To enable these two output areas, there are 3 action categories of Nutrition, Fitness, and Logistics. Finally to enable all the work to be accomplished I have 2 last perspectives called Support (coaches, teachers, cheerleaders, and other lifestyle support that enables more time spent on health and fitness) and Equipment and Environment.
While I have both Animal and Competition goals, for this year’s project, I’ve chosen The Animal as the lead/top category. The main reason to do races is motivation to keep on track for my body and health goals. In future years, I might have Competition as the lead with The Animal in support.
I’ve failed myself in past seasons thinking that the main goal was to do “X” race, when what I really wanted was to fit into those smaller size jeans getting dusty in the closet–wrong perspective leading to wrong focus and actions. I did well in the event, but the jeans went unworn.
In the next steps, I’ll use this structure to help guide goals into actions.
Step 2: Goal Details and Gap Analysis
Here are my 5 main goals mapped out into details on the framework. It appears to be quite an overwhelming amount of work to manage, but Healthy Habits are input tasks to be done beyond other goals. Most years I wouldn’t have these inputs as a strategic priority, but tough times call for very detailed work.
Now for a reality check…how far away am I from reaching these goals? Have I taken on too much change at once?
After analyzing the gap for each goal, I label the amount of change (either actual physical work or mental habits) needed.
- Run the Animal means I just need to maintain my current state
- Change the Animal means I have work to do
- Transform the Animal requires that I spend an extraordinary amount of effort, attention, motivation, habit change, and monitoring to accomplish
If I have too many items in the Transform area, I probably need to revisit my goals, or at least extend the timeline of the goals.
Naturally, these goals need to be put into perspective with the rest of my life, which also has Run, Change, and Transform wish lists.
Gap Analysis for Goal 1: Be Healthy, Happy, and Lean
Gap Analysis for Goal 2: Develop World-Class Health and Fitness Habits
Gap Analysis for Goal 3: Return to the Races
Overall for Project 2019, I have quite a number of Transform areas, but lucky for me that they are all are related. For example, if I transform my Fitness area, then the race and weight goals should not be so difficult.
Step 4: Key Success Factors
The next step leading to the action plan is to flush out support items which are critical for supporting my goals.