Prepare to win! Clearly defined goals are a common denominator of successful people and a big driver behind high performance athletes. I have yet to work with a professional athlete who doesn’t dream big and who isn’t waking up each day with strong purpose in mind. But it’s important to define goals in the right manner for them to be a positive influence in your journey.
The most important thing to remember when considering setting goals is to understand what role they play: to maintain focus and define the pathway to success. This process is also a great moment of reflection to identify the factors that enhance or limit your success. To ensure that your goals work for you, you need to write them down.
Keep it smart
An acronym that is used often in goal setting is SMART:
- Specific – make sure that your goals are detailed and specific to what you clearly want to achieve
- Measurable – include any parameters that define the goal for you, whether it be a date, a time, a power number, etc
- Attainable – the goal you set should be attainable to the point where you truly believe you can achieve it, yet it also needs to be challenging enough that if you don’t apply yourself, you will fall short
- Relevant – goals should align with your personal, true objectives so that they’re relevant to you and the direction you want to head
- Time-based – define clearly when you want to achieve the goal. Deadlines are important
Golden rules to remember
- Avoid goals where you don’t necessarily have control of the outcome (results based goals, for instance – what if Chris Froome turns up to your local race?!)
- Only set a limited, manageable number of clear, concise, goals
- Always inflect the goal in a positive manner
“I want to win the local club race”– this goal lacks specific details, including a deadline of when you want to achieve it by, what you need to do to achieve it, and it doesn’t avoid situations that you can’t control.
Instead, try: “I want to give myself the best chance of winning a local club race by the end of the summer by arriving at the race focused, executing optimal race tactics, and improving my limiter of max 5min power in training”.
Two goal types
Having worked with many athletes from beginner to WorldTour level, with their differing objectives, I see two types of goals:
- The outcome goal is purely based around objectives and desires – what they want to achieve, and can be classified as dream goals, long-term and short-term goals.
- The other type is the process goal – defining the steps you need to take in order to achieve the outcome. Also known as a training objective or action integration it’s these processes that make achieving the outcome goal realistic in the first place.
You can read more at BikeRadar.com