I’m a terrible swimmer but I really, really want to be good (and not scared!)

I’ve been fearful of water since my mum took me to Mommy & Me Swim Lessons as a pre-schooler. My poor vision, low endurance in the water and inability to breath naturally leave me sputtering and wanting to quit.

I tell my clients, when you want to improve a skill or an outcome, you need to spend time practicing it to get better. I tell my daughters Hillary and Luba this as well as they’re taking their lessons. I’ve never told them how afraid of the water I am (especially lakes!), I just fake it so I don’t pass on my irrational fears to them!

Swim This Summer_imageSo after years of avoiding swimming I’m finally taking time this summer to actually practice.  My friend Cat set me and some other girlfriends up with a good stroke improvement and breathing routine back in June (thanks Cat!). Now that my twins are at sleep away camp, I’ve gone to the pool (on my own, crazy!) to practice.

I’m putting my desire to be a stronger swimmer into a new 90-day goal setting program which I will later apply to my business and use with clients.  After hearing a podcast with coach Todd Herman and reading more about why 90-day goals are better than year-long goals, I’m feeling optimistic about actually seeing success this time. (I’ve tried adult swim lessons before and stopped when we got to the diving section…but that’s a goal for another time!)

My outcome goal:

  • In 90 days I will be able to swim four laps of front crawl without drowning. (Oct. 27th, 2015)

Next I break that down into 2-week long performance goals or “sprints”:

  • Between July 27th & Aug. 9th I will swim for 20 minutes 3x/week (including in scary lakes because we’re going on vacation to Thunder Bay, ON and Chippewa Falls WS …eeeeks!)
  • Between Aug. 10th & Aug. 23rd I will research front crawl improvement techniques and implement them during my 20 minute swims 3x/week.
  • …and so on, building on time in the pool, skill improvement, anti-anxiety tools (!) etc. These are measurable goals so I’m confident I’ll see improvement as I count off my 3 weekly swim sessions per week.

Finally I follow this equation to figure out the process goal:

  • 4W = C + M
  • Or who is going to do What, When and Where…that equals Clarity and Momentum
  • So Beth will swim at the City of Toronto pools or vacation lakes (Superior and Wissota, brrr) on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
  • I know what I need to do in order to meet my goal (clarity) and seeing improvement because of the practice time will built even more momentum! Hooray!

Thanks to Todd Herman for laying this out so well.  I’ll keep everyone posted on my success.  Who else is taking a 90 day goal challenge with me?  I’d love to hear your ideas and we can keep each other accountable and motivated on the CareerFit Mom Facebook page.