Goal setting: A simple guide to setting realistic and achievable goals.


Definition of goal setting: Experts define goal setting as the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve (Munson & Consolvo 2012).


Setting goals is easy but achieving them may be slightly harder! Therefore, certain people may choose to set themselves SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely are all steps into making your goal a reality. No matter how big or small the goal you aim to achieve is, they can all follow this SMART protocol. So, let’s break it down into what each category means;


Specific – make sure your goal is well defined and too the point, or something that would be clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the goal in hand.


Measurable – how are you going to measure your success in relation to the goal?? This could be a specific drop in weight, or to lift a certain weight within a few weeks of training.


Achievable – be honest to yourself, are the goals you’re setting yourself something you can do. Creating goals that may be slightly unachievable can lead to a negative mindset. This can be due not achieving what you have set yourself to do, aim high but do so within reason!


Realistic – This is very similar to making sure the goals are achievable, make sure they’re also realistic. For example, don’t set yourself to do a 200kg deadlift within a week of starting the gym!


Timely – And finally make sure you give yourself a reasonable time length in which you aim to achieve the goal. A common amount of time that many people utilise can be anywhere between 4-12 weeks but make this a time length that suits you! Don’t just use a random time length that you’ve seen other people use!


Once you have a rough idea of the goal you want to achieve, remember to write it down and stick it somewhere you can see it every day. This way it can act as a form of motivation and can constantly remind you of what you want to achieve. I found this very useful in the last 2 weeks of prep!! Always remember why you started in the first place!


References
Munson, S. A., & Consolvo, S. (2012). Exploring goal-setting, rewards, self-monitoring, and sharing to motivate physical activity. PervasiveHealth, 2012, 2532.