Do you want to set a goal but you’re unsure which shape that goal setting should encompass? This article will explore what pro athletes and veteran amateur athletes do to set goals. We will explore outcomes, planning, mentalities and more importantly thinking clearly. Goal setting is perceived as boring and this can be a realistic description. However, the effectiveness of setting a goal, monitoring that goal and achieving that goal has a psychological effect that helps athletes or amateurs continue in sport and fitness for longer.
It should be noted that goal setting is different to workout journal planning in so far as the planner helps with the theoretical of the activity setting whilst goal setting helps with the mechanics of the activity in question. In your planner your will note your durations and calories whilst goal setting help you increase your speed, picks up on issues and help you further your physical activities by perfecting your speed, technique and style.
When we think of twenty-first century sports science with its biomechanical aerodynamics, it’s smart phone and supercomputer mentalities and it’s wider space age technologies we can sometimes forget the original thinking behind sports.
In the nineteenth-century a man called Hyrum Smith, an American religious leader, coined the acronym SMARTS. A way of goal-setting and how to better plan your goals and systems. This article will introduce you to SMARTS and it will show you how using these systems you can better achieve your goals by creating goals that have realistic and tangible end-results.
S is for Specificity
We need a bit of specifics in our planning and goal setting. We cannot operate on weak or vague goals like ‘I want to loose weight’ you need to use language to better identify your specific goal which could be ‘I want to loose 4 dress sizes’ or ‘I want to lose 20kg’. These are specifics that goal-setting requires for success.
M is for Measurability
You need to be able to measure your goal’s successes. You can measure the success of your savings account by the interest-rates and you can measure the success of your job by your job title and general happiness in that role. These are measures and they should be applied to your own. Use numbers in your journal to better identify markets that become a benchmark for measurability.
A is for Activity
You need to focus your goals on activity-orientated and you should focus on what actions need to be done in order to reach that goal by pursuing activity-orientated processes. So focus on the jog but think about incrementally increasing your speed over a period of time to help increase the likelihood that your target or goals are met.
R is for Realism
You need to be incredibly realistic in your goal-setting. You need to think about moderating the ‘difficulties’ within your workouts. So a bit of extra weight, or an extra 1k or even a few extra laps in the pool. These will help you focus your attention on your goals by making the exercise more real. The last thing you need is for your body to stall because you’re doing the same thing day-in and day-out.
T is for Timely
You need to achieve your goals in a timely manner. So this means you need to focus your attention on hitting your goals in the medium and not long-term. This is important if weight-loss is your goal as a 1 year target will be psychologically harder to maintain than a six month target. This means you need to think about not just the exercise times but the long-term times and how it will impact on your goals.
S is for Self-Determination
You are your own boss! You need to set your own goals so you can find meaning in the end result of achieving your goal. When you start on a weight-loss diet and workout plan – your goal of ‘loosing 20kg in six months’ – you will need self-determination and by being ruthless to yourself you can achieve your own goals and therein find meaning from the end product.
If you are starting out and you have a goal – either weight loss or muscle gain – then you will need a goal that follows the SMARTS goal-setting formula. You will need to be specific – have a clear goal, have benchmarks – measures that can identify success and failure, have a focus on activities – your actions are what’s required to achieve your goals, be realistic – don’t set a goal with too higher standard, think about timings – think about the medium term like three to six months rather than the year-long picture and finally have self-determination. If you can focus on these key elements you can achieve your goals and targets successfully.