My Quarter One Goals


One thing that I learned when reviewing my 2015 running goals, race plans and general life resolutions was that I hadn’t achieved many of them.  Whilst I love setting goals, I decided I needed to be a bit more realistic.

One thing that struck me was that it’s almost impossible to set goals for the WHOLE year. Really, who has any idea what will happen today, let alone be able to predict 365 days?  So I decided to split the year into quarters and set quarterly goals instead, whilst having an overarching plan for the year.

If you don’t read Erin’s blog, you honestly have to – she’s a wonderful writer, a speedy runner and has great hair! Anyway,Erin came up with the most wonderful motto for the year which I just loved and am going to steal for 2016. Her NY Resolution is simply to ‘Go Forth and Kick Ass‘. I’m totally stealing it for 2016 because I can’t say it any better – therefore, in British-speak, my 2016 goal is to Go Forth And Kick Arse!!

This is how I plan to do it.

The Big Plan  (Jan – Dec)

The Husband has signed up for Ironman Vineman at the end of July. I know from experience that realistically I won’t have loads of time to train. Long runs will be difficult to fit in. As such, I’m not going to be training for a half-marathon at all during that period. Instead I’m going to be working on the 5k and the 10k. My goals are to finally go sub-25 for the 5k and sub-50 for the 10k. I’m 16 seconds away from my 5k goal but a good minute or so away from my 10k goal. I’m REALLY excited about this. I’m also hoping to run trails with the girls once a month as well! Know any good babysitters?

Still so incredibly proud of this guy
Still so incredibly proud of this guy

Once #ironballz is crowned a second time, I’m planning to focus hard on the Half Marathon and am planning to (going to) PR in the Autumn!

In addition to the above, I’d like to cycle round Lake Tahoe in the Summer. It’s 76-odd miles at altitude but I’m hoping to do it with the Husband (and anyone else who fancies it???) in June or July.

Love this place

And in non-running, I want to deepen my knowledge of classical music. I’m going to focus on one composer every month and listen to as much of his stuff as possible.

Quarter One Goals

So for Jan – March, these are my goals.

  1. Get a 5k PR of sub-25 minutes, with the Oakland 5k on March 20th as my goal race.
  2. Start my next Early Childhood Education course – ‘practicum’ which is the teaching practice part. I’ve got a great placement lined up and I am ready to rock it. It starts in February and ends in June. I absolutely want an ‘A’ so that’s my success criteria.
  3. Work on my abs. I read an article about how people who do abs work 4 x weekly can cut minutes of their 5k times! A new PR and some abs? I’ll try that. Success would be being confident to run a race in March in just a sports bra.
  4. Cut back on my iPhone usage. (ANYONE GOT ANY TIPS?).
  5. Run the Post-Oak Challenge with Jess, Kate and Jen in Oklahoma. 15 hilly miles. This would be my longest run for years and years and years
  6. Listen to: Jan – Mozart. Feb – Beethoven. March – Tchaikovsky. (If you love any of these guys’ music, please let me know what to listen to).
  7. Read my Bible every day. Because I’ve been slacking lately.
Proof that the right pose can totally imply the possession of abs.
Proof that the right pose can totally imply the possession of abs.


As an incentive, if I do all of those things, I get a prize! Like a preschooler.

So those are my Quarter One goals. I LOVE the idea of shorter-term goals. I’m super excited about starting them. Here we go!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. ErinAMG says:

    Heyyyyyy! That made me smile 🙂 your q1 goals are awesome, and I love the way you’ve broken it down by quarters and by areas of your life: simple concept that I think is a game changer! Stoked to see you crush! xo

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks! I’m excited about this new way of setting goals – it feels much more immediate and more likely that i’ll achieve them!! Thanks for the 2016 motto, I really appreciate you coining it so succinctly. xx

  2. Jen says:

    Great idea to break your goals down into quarters! And I like how you specified things so you know whether you’ve succeeded, as opposed to a vague, “get faster” or “get stronger”. I also want to go sub-25 at Oakland — I’m 12 seconds away. Let’s go forth and kick some arse!! 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Arse-kicking!!! Yes, I think the Quarterly goals are much more me, sad it took me 40 years to work this out. Oakland is going to be BIG!!

    2. Grace says:

      You guys are SO CLOSE! Two things helped when I went sub-25: 1) Pick a good medium-sized race: not so big you’ll have to dodge people, but large enough to offer you some speedy rabbits. 2) Parkruns or tune-up 5Ks so your body gets a feel for racing (my tri group would do a regular time trial). Go forth and kick arse!

      1. Cathryn says:

        Good advice…thanks. We’re braving Park Run in a few weeks!!!

      2. Jen says:

        We have a park run planned at the end of this month!!

  3. Kristen says:

    These are some great goals and so exciting the husband is set to do Ironman #2!

    I am not sure if you have heard of these rides around Lake Tahoe but they hold one in June and one in September – and I have done the one in June two times and it is a great ride – very well supported.

    I hope I can finally join you girls in your monthly trail/brunch runs. I think I can finally keep up. 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yay! Can’t wait to run some trails with you. Thanks for the links to the sportives as well…I may well do the September one as I can’t see me and the Husband being able to train for a long bike ride during ironseason!! You should plan to come up to Guerneville at end July to watch IM!!

  4. Grace says:

    Sounds like an exciting first quarter – can’t wait to see what the score is at the end of the first quarter…oh wait, I’m mixing my sports. You’d think it was American football season or something. I like the quarterly goal splits! And I love that you get a prize. You should do stickers on a chart too.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Oooh, don’t tempt me. Apparently preschool incentivisation works for me!

      1. Grace says:

        Well, I just gave Angela sleep advice (do a consistent bedtime routine) that comes straight from the parenting bible, so…live what you know? 😀

      2. Cathryn says:

        I checked your sleep advice. Liked it lots. May even implement myself.

  5. Nic J says:

    Loving the ‘stickers on a chart’ idea – no faking your end of school report though! “Cat is very enthusiastic but does look at her phone a bit too much…” – ha!
    Also loving the breaking down into smaller goals – a great idea. Haven’t got anything lined up for me as yet, although I want to make the most of the current running enthusiasm. I even went out for a 6 miler yesterday, which doesn’t sound epic until you understand how hard it was raining – virtually on biblical proportions. I might as well have taken shampoo out with me and had a wash at the same time. It’s taken me a day and a half to dry my trainers out, even breaking the number 1 DON’T rule for wet trainers by sticking them on the radiator. But a good one for counting blessings – I was glad a) I could run [fit enough], b) I could run [mad enough], c) I could run [no current back problems], d) I felt safe [more than some areas in the world currently] and e) I felt safe [soggy is better than icy] – quite uplifting. Maybe that’s my goal – be more glad! xx

    1. Cathryn says:

      I am always impressed by people who run through the nasty winters. It was dark, raining and a little chilly this morning but nothing like the UK. You should set yourself a few Q1 goals…I’m super excited about mine. Apparently short-term goals are my thing!

  6. Layla says:

    I like this approach to goals, because a LOT can happen in a year, so why should January ideas dictate our lives in October?

    For your 5k goal, you’re close enough that it’s realistic, while also being challenging enough to hold yourself accountable. I definitely think you can do it! My unsolicited advice is to get some fast finishes at race pace during your training. If you’re planning to run 4 miles, try to run the last mile at 5k PR pace. Even if you run the first 3 miles at a very conservative pace, on race day your brain will still KNOW you can finish fast.

    The classical music self-education is a cool idea! A long time ago, I was learning the first few pages of Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique on the piano. Now I look at the sheet music and can’t even figure out what it all means, let alone how to play all those black notes at once. But it’s a fun, dramatic piece of music that I love.

    For the iPhone, I have mine go into “Do Not Disturb” mode at 9:30 p.m., in an attempt to get to bed earlier. You could also try turning off some notifications — for instance, I don’t get any Facebook notices until I actually open the app.

    1. Cathryn says:

      YES….what I want in January is very different to what I want in October. I’m super excited about quarterly goals and wondering why I haven’t done them before.

      Like the idea of fast finishes, thank you! And I’ll check out the Beethoven sonata next month when it’s his month. I’m doing Mozart this month and listened to the clarinet concerto which I learned 20 odd years ago (poorly). Brought back so many lovely memories.

  7. You go, girl!! (Also, I LOVE the reward/prize part of it… 😉 )

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