Without a target, you will miss at success. Goal setting is crucial to improving your performance, but always remember that your arrows matter too.
Before deciding your goals, know that your methods deserve just as much attention as the desired results. Your tools, tactics and strategies are like arrows flying into a target. They can be aimed correctly but they need to be made of the right stuff in order to make it all the way to victory. You aim at your goals but you must rely on your core values to reach the them. No matter how big the trophy, any dishonest shortcuts will haunt you for all the days after. As you are aiming for greatness remember to be true to your SELF along the way.
Here is a three pillar approach to targeting your goals:
- performance goals are measurable results based on timers, scorecards, scales and rulers – those millimetres and hundredths of seconds will prove your success. Learn to understand how the smallest changes affect your performance. And always know that you can be awesome and make a personal best independently of everyone else’s efforts and results while training and on race day too.
- process goals highlight your chosen priorities each day – identify three parts of your sequence (as all movements/ actions can be chunked down into smaller pieces). If you go for more than three priorities then it is easy to become overwhelmed. Keep evaluation simple with yes/no responses. You always know when you have nailed it/ stuck it/ hit it or not. Constantly challenge yourself to achieve your process goals at every training session and performance opportunity.
- outcome goals mean comparing your results to everyone else – a top finish in a field of newbies is different than a bottom placement at internationals. Controlling who else showed up and how they performed is impossible. The media focuses on the podium but it never truly reflects real champions, personal victories or the realities of your sport. Focusing only on outcome goals creates unnecessary stress for you. Don’t do it.
Once you have dreamed up a bunch of goals, the next step is to write them all down. Sort them by performance, process and outcome goals then define any relevant details which will prove successful completion. List out all your arrows – tools, tactics and strategies, which you will use in your trainings to hit those targets. Then finally, make sure that all your goals can co-exists with each other too. If there is conflict between your goals, your training methods and/or who you are as a person, then you will become mentally weak, constantly stressed and never feel quite up for the challenges of your chosen journey. Respect your personal values always.
As you do your trainings, track everything. When something derails your progress, stop doing it and figure out why it’s not working. You will only get frustrated if you are not taking the time to evaluate and modify your methods consistently. We all know that repeating mistakes only makes you better at making those mistakes. So instead, choose to get better at training smarter.
Your performance success depends on aiming your arrows at the right target. Plan, evaluate and adapt constantly as you improve. And always remember that when your goals and personal values co-exist, then you will always be strong enough to take on any journey you choose.