Setting a GOAL is one thing, but ATTAINING a goal is another. Often, the biggest downfall in goal setting is failing to PLAN a pathway to SUCCESS!
We’ve all heard the classic cliché: a GOAL without a PLAN is just a DREAM.
Before going any further, let’s clarify that we are not talking about giving up chocolate as a goal… (That would be crazy as chocolate is too bloody delicious!)
We believe in using the SMART principles to help guide your goal setting and attaining.
- S – Specific – The goal must not be fluffy, generic, or vague. Instead, try to make it as CONSICE and as straight-to-the-point as possible. For example, a fluffy goal would be “be a better squash player”, while we would recommend “increase my matrix rating”.
- M – Measurable – There should be a concrete way to know whether or not you have achieved your goal. For example, to further improve the previous goal to “increase my matrix rating”, we would want to change it to “increase my matrix rating by 25 points”.
- A – Attainable – On the other hand, you want to make sure you aren’t turning that goal back to a dream by thinking of something that can never be achieved. Making sure your goal is attainable will ensure that you continue to IMPROVE, find CONFIDENCE, and stay MOTIVATED. For example, the goal is not “to be the best player that ever lived”, but instead something that is you know is possible to achieve, like increasing your matrix rating by 25 points.
- R – Realistic – It is possible for a goal to be attainable, but not realistic. Think about the time you have available to dedicate to your goal, the opportunities you give yourself to work towards your goal. For example, you may work a full time job and only play squash 2-3 times per week. Thinking about all of that, it is still definitely a realistic goal to “increase my matrix by 25 points”, but probably not to “be the best player that ever lived”.
- T – Timely – To tie this all together, it is imperative that there is a set time frame on your goal that is again realistic and attainable. For example, the goal could be to “increase my matrix by 25 points by the end of the year (Dec 31, 2018)”, which gives a guideline of timing but isn’t as unrealistic as “increase my matrix by 25 points next week (Jan 10th, 2018)”.
Again, we started with a generic goal to “be a better squash player” and ended up with a SMART goal that is to “increase my matrix rating by 25 points by the end of the year (Dec 31, 2018)”. This allows you to direct your training (deliberate practice) for the next 12 months in a PRODUCTIVE and SPECIFIC way. Instead of just going on court to hit to “be a better a squash player”, your SMART goal creates a PURPOSE to everything you PURSUE in lieu of your goal!