The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the outcome to change! How often have you set the same or similar goals, approached them in the same way only to end up with the same result each time, you give up or you get nowhere? Being able to set and achieve your goals is an important skill to have, whether those goals are for your athletic abilities, health or any other aspect of your life.
Here are some simple rules you can follow for successful SMARTER goal setting:
Vague goals, such as “get fit” or “get strong” mean nothing. What qualifies as fit? or strong? You need to define what you mean by fitness or strength, and then you need to make your goal specific. For example, if your definition of fitness is your ability to run, rather than say “get fit” or “be able to run” your goal might be “to be able to run 5km in 20mins”.
Make it Measurable:
How can you track your progress if you cannot compare your results? You need to be able to measure the outcome. Sticking with the running goal, if your 5km run today takes you 40mins and in a months time takes you 35mins, you are able to compare the measurement of time and see that you have made progress.
Make it at least 50% Attainable:
I say 50% because if the goal isn’t challenging and exciting enough you probably won’t stick to it. You want to be able to push yourself a little further than you think possible, yet not past the point when you can’t succeed.
You need to be able to put your goal into reality. Are you going to have the time and energy to do what is necessary to achieve your goal? Setting yourself up for failure makes it even harder to achieve your next goal; you start to lose faith in yourself.
Have a Time frame:
They say, a goal without a date is just a dream! Having a date keeps you on track and helps you to plan your “to do list” to achieve your goal. It can also be helpful to keep your time frame relatively short, around 6-12months. When you allow too much time to achieve a goal it can be easy to delay taking action.
Make it something that will Extend your abilities:
In other words, the goal is of benefit to you. It is much easier to stick to something when we can see how the end result can be of value us.
I can’t stress how important it is to write things down! When we physically record things, we have a better chance of remembering. Not only that but you can go back and check on your goal.