Now that the holidays are over and the year is in full swing, I want to share with you the key steps I used to achieve Olympic success and highlight the importance of setting goals. The purpose here is not to tell you that you need a goal because that’s easy, but instead to show you the ‘HOW’ to achieve your goal. The following steps are commonly used by sports people, life and business coaches.
The Secret to Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals
SPECIFIC – Create a goal statement; make sure your goal is very specific, well defined and clear in your mind. This goal statement must explain the WHAT, WHY, WHO, WHERE and WHEN. Simply stating “I want to start going to the gym” is not enough. Instead “I will start going to my local gym, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before work at 6am” is a clearer target and easier to achieve. The more specific, the more value and purpose the goal has, the easier it is to stay focused.
MEASURABLE– You must be able to track progress and measure the result of your goal along the way. If your goal is quantifiable it is much easier to measure. For example saying you want to run faster is not measurable but when you say that you want to run 5km in under 20 minutes that is easy to measure.
ACHIEVABLE – Make sure that it is in your control and possible for you to achieve your goal. Start with small steps and gradually set more challenging goals. Don’t overstep the mark by taking big leaps, if you are unfit and sedentary you’re not going to aim to run in a marathon in 2 months.
REALISTIC – Are you able to practically achieve your goal with the time and resources available. This is where you need to factor in your circumstances and your commitments. Identify possible obstacles and ways you may be able to overcome them.
TIME-BOUND – You need to have a set date you want to achieve your goal by. It gives you a sense of urgency and accountability. Without a time frame it is easy to procrastinate and push goals aside. Setting short-term milestones along the way can help measure progress.
When you attempt the 5 steps I recommend you:
WRITE IT DOWN – this is very important and make sure you have it somewhere you can see it daily because you want to be reminded day in and day out.
VISUALISE IT – Many sports people use this and it is very effective (I have done this many times). You rehearse or visualize yourself performing the steps in your mind and the joy of achieving your goal. An example is they visualize the win, standing on the podium receiving their gold medal, taking photo’s, the roaring crowd etc.
Happy goal setting and remember - If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
Yours in Health & Wellness,
Dr. Ali Abdo