Simple Goal Setting
Recommended age: 12+
Do you have something that you’re aiming for in the future? A “long term goal?” It’s good to get that noted down somewhere, as specifically as you can, so that it gives you focus. It can make you feel motivated because you’re excited about achieving that goal. So when training gets hard, or if you have a little doubt in yourself, it’s good to remind yourself of that exciting long term goal.
Sometimes though, thinking about a long term goal might make you feel apprehensive or uncertain, because the outcome feels so far away from where we are now! You might have thought “can I really achieve that?” or “I don’t know why I’m doing what I’m doing, I don’t think I can achieve that”. I know I’ve certainly felt that way before.
When this happens, it’s good to give your goal a bit more thought and break it down.
Your long term goal is the outcome that you’re aiming for. To get there and make you feel confident about getting there, create some step by step, shorter term goals. If you don’t know how to achieve your goal, talk to your coach about it.
It’s good to be organised and have this kind of structure to keep you on track and give you extra confidence in yourself and your ability to achieve your long term goal.
It is useful to design your goals with the following things in mind:
Specific – Make sure there’s lots of detail in your goal, you could possibly ask your coach to help you with this, perhaps there’s a specific part of your technique you need to work on and your coach can help you to understand how you need to change, and how you can do that bit by bit.
Measurable – It’s good to think about how you’ll know if you have reached your goal, so thinking about how you’ll measure your progress will help you to know when you’ve reached your goal.
Achievable and Realistic – Keep your goals within reach, ensure you have the physical ability to achieve your next goal, and that you have the support around you to help to improve and progress.
Time based – Give yourself a deadline for each goal you set, it helps to keep you on track and will reassure you that you will achieve your longer term goal by the deadline date you have set.
Enjoyable – Make things fun! Goals shouldn’t be boring or plain, make them interesting and creative if you can.
Recorded – It’s good to note down the goals you’re aiming for – both in the short term and the long term. It is a memory aide – so you don’t forget what you’re aiming for, but it’s also a confidence tool that you can look back on in order to see how you have progressed. If you keep a training diary it’s useful to have this kind of log.
Ultimately keep things in perspective and keep having fun!
Thank you to Jennifer Hobson for sharing your blog with us. Jennifer Hobson, graduated from Newcastle University in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and from Loughborough University in December 2014 with MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Jennifer volunteers her help and expertise supporting our workshops for our Talented Athletes to enhance their mental strength. For more information on our Talented Athlete Support Scheme, please visit: www.everybody.org.uk/tass/