To “master your craft”, you need to set high-quality goals. In my previous blog posts, I asked you to brainstorm and write down as many “outcome goals”, “performance goals”, and “process goals” as possible. It’s now time to refine them!
Here are the most important guidelines to consider when setting your goals:
- Set 1 “outcome goal”, 1 “performance goal”, and a maximum of 3 “process goals” to focus on
- Set goals that are appealing to you
- State your goals in a positive way
- State your goals in your own words
- Set S.M.A.R.T goals
- Specific (is the goal specific?)
- Measurable (is the goal measurable?)
- Adjustable (is the goal adjustable?)
- Realistic (is the goal realistic?)
- Timely (is the goal timely?)
- Review and evaluate your goals every week
- Make your goals public if that motivates you
- Understand that goal setting takes times
As an example, let’s say that an Olympic lifter wants to set a “performance goal” for his summer training cycle. During a consultation, he states, “I don’t want to be the weakest in my group anymore”. For him, this goal is very important. Therefore, let’s use the guidelines presented above to help him develop a high-quality “performance goal”.
- I don’t want to be the weakest in my group anymore (goal that is very appealing to him)
- I want to improve my strength (goal stated in a positive way)
- My goal is to improve my squat (clear and specific goal)
- My goal is to add 30 pounds to my squat (measurable, adjustable, and realistic goal)
- My goal is to add 30 pounds to my squat by July 15th, 2017 (timely)
- My goal is to add 30 pounds to my squat by July 15th, 2017 and evaluate my progress every Friday at the gym with the help of my coach (evaluate goals weekly)
As you can see, in a few easy steps, we were able to create a clear and specific goal for this athlete which will give him a better chance of improving his performance. Moreover, he could post his goal on a social media platform (e.g., Instagram, Facebook) if he thinks that it would increase his overall motivation.
Set aside quality time to complete this exercise. Give yourself a minimum of 20 minutes. Find a quiet place to sit comfortably and focus only on the task at hand. Take 3 deep breaths and relax (close your eyes if you need to). In your journal, choose the “performance goal” and the 3 “process goals” that will help you achieve your most important “outcome goal”. Use the guidelines provided above to refine all your goals. Afterwards, implement them into your training regiment. Once you are comfortable with the new goals that you have established for yourself, you can add another set of “performance” and “process goals” to focus on.
Remember that in life, it’s important to have a dream. Something to aim at. Something to chase. Something that motivates you to get out of bed every morning. However, to make this dream come true, you need to create a clear vision for yourself. In other words, you need to figure out how are you going to get there. One way to do this is to set high-quality goals!
Set goals. Do just one thing at a time. Keep it simple and smart. Do it consistently. Reflect on the process.
Crocker, P. R. E. (2015). Sport and exercise psychology: A Canadian perspective. Toronto: Pearson.