Smart Goal Setting

Goals is what makes athletes, great athletes. The dreams we set for ourselves can not be achieved unless we set goals, but not just goals, SMART goals.

Here’s how you can set SMART goals:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely

Specific – Your goals should be straightforward and to the point. This helps us to clearly define what you’re trying to achieve. Specific is What, Why and How.

■WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
■WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
■HOW are you going to do it?

Instead of setting a goal to finish a marathon.  Set a goal to run it under 4 hours.

Measurable – If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  Choose a goal that you can track and monitor.  Let’s say you choose to set a goal to run a marathon in under 4 hours.  How do you measure your progress?  By creating smaller goals along the way.  Let’s say you have a goal to run a half marathon 2-3 months prior to the marathon in 2 hours or less.  This would help measure your ultimate goal of a marathon under 4 hours.

Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. Your begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

A goal needs to stretch you mentally and physically but it also has to be realistic and should be a real commitment. You must be willing to make sacrifices in order to reach your goal.

Realistic – Set goals that can be achieved.  This doesn’t mean to set goals that are easy but make sure you don’t just say, for example, that your goal is to break the world record in the marathon.  If you’ve never run a mile faster than 5 minutes then it would be safe to say that breaking the world record is not realistic.

Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort!  Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable.  Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!

Timely – It’s important to set a time frame to achieve your goal.  If you put an end date on your goal, it gives you a clear target to work towards.  If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.  Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.

It’s important to set goals in all aspects in life not just in sports.  Goals give us a purpose and something to work toward.  So start working toward your dreams and once you achieve them, dream more.

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