Goal Setting with Alec Merlino

Goal Setting with Alec Merlino

Whats up, I'm Alec Merlino - Amateur Triathlete on Team Every Man Jack, Brand Builder, Entrepreneur, and Actor based in Carlsbad, California. Here are my 3 tips for goal setting! 

1. Categorize Them

A lot of the times we write down everything we want to accomplish In a year but don't realize they all have a place and we should be reaching to achieve something in all the buckets of life..not just work related goals. I categorize mine like this: Triathlon Goals, Business Goals, Personal Goals. Examples of each would be:

  • Triathlon: Go Sub 9:20 on a Full Distance Ironman
  • Business: Grow my start-up to $100,000 In annual revenue
  • Personal: Read 15 books

2. Break the Bigger Goals into Smaller Goals

This goes without saying, but I have too. You don't tackle an Ironman race all at once or climb Everest top to bottom In a single day. You break It up into manageable chunks. When I'm racing an ultra marathon that lasts for over 10 hours or an Ironman race, I can't focus on the fact that I'll be racing for the entire day otherwise my mind will want to quit. What I can focus on and control however, Is how I frame the situation. In an ultra, I take it aid station by aid station.

For example:

  • "Ok Alec, make It 6 more miles and you're to the next aid station where you'll get some food and hydration and then you can assess how you feel."
  • Ironman Race: "Alright, you're about 2 miles Into the swim, just .4 to go and It's onto the bike where you'll be able to really get the legs moving, catch your breath, and get some nutrition In."

The point I'm making is a lot of us have lofty goals (which Is great) Ie: qualify for Ironman World Championships, or make $100,000. If you only focus on the goal, you may feel overwhelmed or even be racking your brain saying to yourself, "how the hell am I going to do that?!" And you might give up.

Here's how I break down my goals; example:

Bigger Goal: Qualify for Kona World Championships.

Smaller Goals to get me there:

  • complete all my prescribed workouts by my coach
  • Cycle 6,500 miles this year (125 per week)
  • Swim 210,000 yards this year (4,050 yards per week)


3. Frame That Shit!

They say you're 42% more likely to achieve something simply by writing It down. How about writing them down and then printing them out and framing them where you look at them every day! I've been doing this for years now and It's been a game changer. Here's why.

Last year, I had a goal to complete my first Ironman. When you look at something every day you start to become that goal. I was constantly reminded I needed to train. I was constantly telling people what I was training for which In turn creates accountability. Now you have more riding on this. People come over to my house and they see them. I believe the universe will conspire to put in your life what you're telling it you want, so write your goals down and look at them every day.


Your goals are your WHY. When training Is tough and I don't want to swim for an hour at 6am or bike 4 hours inside my house on my trainer, I remind myself of crossing the finish line at Ironman Worlds. What Is It going to feel like? Who Is going to be there? Will I win my age group? These are all questions I ask. I also ask myself, how bad do you actually want this when I'm training or trying to figure something out work related. Just remember, quitting Is always the easier option and the path us as humans want to take. Ask yourself how you'd feel If you don't achieve your goal. You'll start to sell yourself on completing them.


People who don't have goals work for people who do. Write down a goal or two, you may surprise yourself.


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