Pretty much all worthwhile accomplishments start with a goal or even a dream. Goal setting is quite simply, essential to your success, otherwise what is your driving force, what is your motivation, what are you actually working for!?
But to make goal setting a powerful ally in whatever you are trying to achieve, instead of just some vague idea, we need to look at smart goal setting. Now that’s not some bull crap acronym such as Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted. Those kind of acronyms are useless in my opinion, they’re just fluff thrown at you on seminars and workshops, to make the content sound more intelligent. What I mean, is simply being a little smarter with your goal setting, having a workable plan with targets, time frames and a plan of action.
There are two opposing schools of thought when it comes to goal setting; the ‘dream big, think big’ goal setting and the ‘realistic’ goal setters. Both have their pros and cons and used independently of one another, as they most often are, greatly diminishes their effectiveness.
Combining the two philosophies in a well-structured and planned way is the key to successful goal setting.
I will use myself as an example; I want to deadlift 300kg, at the moment I can pull around 200kg, so this is a pretty big goal, factor in my age, my genetics and my training experience and my goal is far from what would be considered realistic.
It is a huge motivator, I will need to be seriously strong to achieve this lift, but if I focused solely on this single target, I would be setting myself up for a lot of failure and disappointment, it is going to take considerable time and consistent effort to reach this goal. All that disappointment can take its toll, self-belief is shaken and motivation fades, ever increasing my risk of giving up.
This is where the ‘realistic’ goals come in, by breaking down the ‘dream big’ goal into smaller goals, with a workable plan and a deadline to achieve them, such as; increasing my deadlift by 5kg in one month, 30kg in six months, 60kg in twelve months and so on, I am now able to work on a relatively small goal, within a set time frame, whilst keeping one eye on the ‘dream big’ long term goal.
The ‘dream big’ goal gives me the desire to get my arse in the gym, to take action in the first place, the small ‘realistic’ goals keep me motivated and confident, as I continue to make steady progress, ticking off little goals as I march towards the big goal.
Using the approach to goal setting will give you the desire of a big change, the big result, whilst slowly building your confidence and keeping you motivated with the small victories and successes.
What do you want to achieve? Get smart with your goal setting for success.