Setting goals is a crucial aspect of personal development. Whether you’re aiming to improve technique, get stronger or perhaps learn a new skill/ sport, having clear and well-defined goals is the first step towards success. One effective framework for goal setting is the SMART criteria. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of SMART goals and how they can pave the way for a more focused and achievable path to success. We will then take this up a gear and look to create an actionable plan to make sure the goals are achieved!
UNDERSTANDING SMART GOALS:
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Each component plays a vital role in crafting goals that are not only clear but also practical and attainable.
Specific: Clearly define your goal. Instead of a vague objective like “Get Strong” specify, “Gain 10kg on my Snatch 1 rep max in the next in the next 12 months through a combination of regular training sessions (3 times per week) and improving bar path to enhance speed under the bar”
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress. In the Olympic Lifting example example, the measurable aspect would be the kilos on the bar. This helps you track your achievements and stay motivated.
Achievable: Ensure that your goal is realistic and attainable. Setting an objective that is too ambitious may lead to frustration. It’s essential to strike a balance between challenging and feasible.
Relevant: Align your goal with your overall objectives and values. Ask yourself if the goal is worthwhile. This ensures that your efforts contribute to meaningful progress.
Time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving your goal. A time constraint adds a sense of urgency and helps prevent procrastination. In the Olympic Lifting example, the time-bound element is achieving the goal within the next two months.
MAKING SMART GOALS SMARTER:
Now we understand SMART goals and how we can make them specific and measurable, we now need to look at creating an action plan that will enable us to 100% guarantee to achieve our goals.
Measuring progress is essential for staying on track and motivated. Regularly assess your achievements against the measurable criteria you’ve established. This not only keeps you accountable but also allows for adjustments if needed. Celebrate small victories to maintain enthusiasm throughout the journey. I always recommend to revisit the overall goal at the end of the month, this allows you to make sure that the work that you have done during the month has helped push you a step closer to the overall goal, and enables you to make any relevant changes prior to the next month of training.
While setting ambitious goals is admirable, it’s crucial to ensure they are realistically achievable. Consider your current resources, time constraints, and potential obstacles. Adjust your goals if necessary, making them challenging yet within reach. As much as we would all like to hit a 50kg PB during the year, how realistic is that. Breaking a 50kg Pb down, suggests on average we need to increase our 1 rep max by 4kg each month, which is a kilo a week, this may be capable for those ‘enhanced’ human beings, but the likes of you and me, its just not going to happen!
Establishing deadlines creates a sense of urgency, preventing procrastination and maintaining momentum. Break down larger goals into smaller, time-bound milestones. This not only makes the overarching goal more manageable but also provides opportunities for regular assessment and adjustment.
Incorporating the SMART criteria into your goal-setting process can significantly enhance your chances of success. A well-defined and structured approach will guide you through each step of your journey. Embrace the SMART framework, and then make them SMARTER to turn goals into accomplishments. Remember, success is not just about setting goals but also about the strategic and mindful pursuit of them.