How to set goals. And achieve them.
There’s a reason why some of the world’s best athletes are goal-setters.
Goal-setting is proven to improve performance. Athletes who set goals have more self-belief and motivation, two key assets on any sporting field.
Goals should be SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Using this structure gives us clear milestones to measure our success.
If you’re looking to improve your game, whether on or off the field, use these five tips to start achieving your best.
- Be realistic, be realistic… be realistic!
There is no point setting goals that you can’t achieve. At the same time, your goals can’t be a walk-over.
Find a happy medium between guarantees and fantasies. You can always reassess your goals if you find they’re too easy or difficult.
- Learn to love the ‘mini goal’.
As the old saying goes, ‘take it one week at a time.’ As a team or a player, you might have one season goal – ‘to be the league’s leading goal kicker’ or ‘to be the best defensive team’.
While having long-term goals is great for motivation, short-term or ‘mini goals’ are just as crucial. These are the things that you need to achieve to reach your long-term goal.
For example, if your goal is to lead the League in Goal kicking, your mini goals might be – ‘Practice goal kicking three times a week’, or ‘attend every pre-season training session’.
- Get players and teammates involved.
A goal-setting session is a great way to start any season. As a club, take a look back and identify the areas you aced and those things that you could improve.
If you’re a coach, give your players responsibility by asking them to assign their own goals. Once team goals are agreed upon by everyone, write them on a whiteboard, or stick them up somewhere in the club. As each goal is achieved, use this as an opportunity to celebrate the playing group and reassess the status of other team goals.
- Keep goals positive.
Focus on success, not failure. Use goals as a way to improve, but always keep them positively framed.
For example, your goal should be ‘improve match-fitness’ not ‘decreasing the time I spend on the bench.’
- Remember why you started.
When you find yourself losing track of your goals, remember why you started. It might help if you write this down when first doing your goal-setting.
If it helps, keep your eye on the prize using rewards when you complete a mini-goal. This could be a new pair of workout shorts, or a trip to the movies with your teammates.