How to Set Goals Year-Round With Robin Arzon


Balancing patience and drive is key because results take time. Bite-size goals that provide incremental progress allow us to celebrate little victories instead of feeling guilty when we miss overly ambitious goals. It’s absolutely possible to train from the couch to a marathon. I’ve seen it done many times. However, you need to understand the time commitment to training and the lifestyle changes that come with it.

Focus on one or two clear goals. If you were driving a car across the country you would plan a route, places to stop, and a game plan, right? This is no different.


  • Create a mission statement, both short-term (three months) and long-term (one year or more) from now. What exactly do you want to accomplish?
  • Think SMART (a goal-setting acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). “Getting fit” is not as helpful as “mastering inversions in yoga” or “going to kickboxing twice a week for four weeks.” By what magnitude do you want to get stronger, faster, happier? How much weight do you want to lose and by when?
  • Establish a baseline. Take a before photo. Clock that next run. Set an intention for each workout. One goal to reach. One reason you’re pushing for it. Track your progress. Number crunching might seem horrific, so use technology to help. Food journals. Running apps. There’s something for you.
  • What is your passion? Let it lead you. It can come from anywhere, but it has to be yours. If you establish the “why,” the “how” will follow. If the hot guy who checks you in at the gym is your motivation for showing up, so be it! Think about what excites you. If you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, think about the specific workouts and steps that will get you there. Passion drives progress.
  • Tell someone. Your friend, your boss, Facebook. It helps keep you accountable, allows people to encourage you, and might connect you with others who have similar goals. POST IT. Make it known.
  • Make calendar appointments. Think about a past success to get yourself up. Do you function better in the morning? Do you work better as part of a team? Remove the obstacles.
  • Screw New Year’s resolutions that you know you’re not going to keep. Instead, step up to being the CEO of your body for 365 days, little by little. Being the strongest version of yourself is the ultimate lifetime resolution.

*This excerpt was taken from Robin’s book, SHUT UP AND RUN.

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