Make your goals count

Goals, Goals, Goals. I have heard that word for as long as I can remember, and I have set goals for myself or many years. However, only recently have I become good at setting goals. I set goals methodically and expertly, to push myself to be the best I can be. This is my goal setting process.

I was lucky enough to attend a high performance sport school for my last year in high school, and I learnt a lot of really amazing things. This is one of them, so I didn’t come up with this on my own. I have used it since then and has worked very well for me. This is the SMARTe goal system (and yes, the “e” is meant to be there, not just a typo).

SMARTe is an acronym for six characteristics that need to be identified and included in your goal, here is how they break down. I will provide good and bad examples, and will use one of my past yearly sport goals from the weight room.

S: Specific

First off, any and all goals must be specific. As specific as possible.

Bad: My goal is to get stronger.

Good: My goal is to improve my strength on my primary exercises – Cleans, squats, and deadlifts – by 15% each (for 5 reps).

The first goal is clearly vague. Because of that I may not push as hard since I have no threshold, and I could also not feel like I achieved it in the end because I had nothing to compare to. Getting specific, I included specific exercises, specific improvement threshold, and reps.

M: Measurable

You need to be able to measure your improvements relative to your goal. Often specific and measurable go hand in hand, like the example above, one example is unmeasurable and the other is very easy, the weight that I lift.

A; Acceptable

Basically this means that it has to stay  true to who you are and what your longest term goals are.  If I want to be a great athlete, but one year I make a goal to drop everything and travel for six months, its not going to be productive for my long term goal of dominating athletics.

T: Timely

This is not saying all goals have to be short term, it means that all goals must have the appropriate time frame.

Bad: My goal is to improve my strength on my primary exercises – Cleans, squats, and deadlifts – by 15% each (for 5 reps), over a period of two weeks.

Good: My goal is to improve my strength on my primary exercises – Cleans, squats, and deadlifts – by 15% each (for 5 reps), over a period of six months.

A time frame can make a easy goal into a hard goal, or make something virtually impossible. Time frames are important in order to not get disheartened or reach the goal too easily.

E: Extending

It has to push you. Don’t set goals that you will easily meet and won’t improve you

Bad: My goal is to improve my strength on my primary exercises – Cleans, squats, and deadlifts – by 1% each (for 5 reps).

Good: My goal is to improve my strength on my primary exercises – Cleans, squats, and deadlifts – by 15% each (for 5 reps).

Make goals that push yourself. Hard. And yeah I’ve missed goals, and I still will, but the progress I made reaching for those goals is still huge progress, so don’t get disheartened.

 

Over the next few days I am going to be posting my specific long term goals in the three areas of my life that I am focusing on – Athletics, Academics, and Financial. If you have goals or dreams of achieving goals in these areas feel free to follow my blog, and my journey. I would love support from you guys and hopefully we can help each other achieve our goals.

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