Goal Setting: Get SMART

Now that you’re inspired after reading and completing the exercise in our first Goal Setting Series blog, today we’ll go over the basics.

The Goal Setting How To.

SMART(S) Goals. Yep. I’m going there. I know you’ve probably heard it before. Yeah, yeah, yeah, SMART goals are important. You’re right! They are important, so here goes. 

S=Specific

M=Measurable

A=Action-Oriented

R=Realistic

T=Timely

(S)=Self-Determined

Did I catch you off guard with the A? You may have seen it as Achievable, but that’s basically the same thing as Realistic. You can’t have two letters stand for the same thing. That will just never do. Each letter gets it’s own concept, people!

Let’s look at a goal example from your inspiration exercise. You may have stated your goal as: Have my best season ever.

Awesome! This type of inspirational (or subjective) goal is great start. You’ve imagined it and you like what you see. “Best season ever” feels good. Gets you motivated. Keep it. Use it as fuel, but for optimal goal getting, you’ll need to make it SMART(S).

Use the acronym above to turn your inspirational goal into a SMART(S) goal.

Have my best season ever turns into: Hit a PR of 12.63 in the 100M dash by the District Meet.

This new goal meets the SMART(S) guidelines. We now have an objective, outcome goal. It’s how you’d like things to turn out. It’s specific, action-oriented, realistic (based on your ability as a sprinter), requires your action, and it’s easy to measure if you achieved it. If you set it yourself, then you can check off the last S too. Nicely done.

Bonus, our goal is long-term too. In the world of goal setting, it’s important to set long-term goals first.

On your way to achieving that long-term outcome goal, you’ll want to set some short-term process or performance goals. These goals are the steps you need to take to make your outcome goal happen.

Using our example above, let’s say your district meet is May 1. What will you do between now and then to make your goal a reality? Break it down into small, actionable steps. You may want to consult your coach or a training plan to get ideas.

Note: While I fancied myself quite the sprinter back in my high school track & field glory days, sport psych isn’t about giving sport-specific tips.

Examples (for illustration purposes only. You will be more specific, I just didn’t want to go there.)

Inspirational, Feel Good, Subjective Goal: Have my best season ever.

Long-term, Objective, SMART(S), Outcome Goal: Hit a PR of 12.63 in the 100M dash by the District Meet.

Short-Term Process Goals: Follow nutrition plan. Drink x amount of water. Complete daily workouts.

Short-Term Performance Goals: Get out of blocks quickly. Focus on form.

Your Turn: Take an inspirational goal from the previous blog exercise and follow the steps outlined in this post.

Inspirational Goal:

SMART(S) Goal:

Short-Term Performance & Process Goals:

Now your goals are set! Congratulate yourself–but not too much–research says sometimes you’ll be so proud of yourself that you’ll stop working for it. But not you. You’re ready to do this.

Next time we’ll talk tips for making it happen.

In the meantime, want a little goal guidance? Let’s do a free mini strategy session! We’ll take your inspirational goal, make it optimal, and put you on the road to success.

It’s super simple to schedule. Click here and select a time that works for you. Talk soon!

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