As an elite athlete and mother of two young boys, I certainly know a thing or two about goal setting. It’s something that I have done my whole life and something that I’ve become quite good at thanks to the help of mind coach Jeffrey Hodges and our team sports psychologist Barbara Meyers.
Firstly, goal setting isn’t about wishing something to come true. And, it’s not about a resolution on the first day of every year (which rarely ever last into February!) Goal setting is a commitment. It takes work. It takes thought. It takes discipline. It takes guts to follow through and have a go. It takes patience and it takes constant adjustment and revision. But, if you maintain focus on each and every goal, I’m living proof that the rewards can be life-changing.
The way I go about goal setting is comprehensive. It’s very detailed and, in essence, it’s a map of where you are now and where you want to go. It can be applied to any aspect of your life: your business, your sport, your family and your relationships.
I love this process because it breaks down large goals: those goals that, at times, can be overwhelming, into small bite-size pieces. That way, each and every day you can progress forward by focusing on your daily priorities. Your goals won’t seem overwhelming anymore because you have a detailed plan on how you’re going to achieve them in the time that you set for yourself.
1. Set your Vision
This is where you need to ask yourself the most important question of all. What do you want? Above any medal, financial gain or result, who are you trying to become and what are you trying to achieve?
(Eg: To be the best female aerial skier that has ever lived)
2. Set your Milestone Goals
In order to become your vision, what are the milestones you will want to achieve?
(Eg. To win at the Olympics)
Tip: It’s not realistic to try and achieve all of your Milestone Goals at once: you may have several. These are big goals; some may be once in a lifetime achievements. Just pick one (and certainly no more than two) to focus on at a time.
3. Set your Challenge Goals
In order to achieve each of your Milestone Goals, what are some of the challenges you will face?
(Eg. Staying healthy and injury free)
Tip: You may have several Challenge Goals – I know I did. Don’t see them as a negative though, just as a challenge along the way.
4. Set your Focus Goals
In order to meet these challenges, what do you need to focus on?
(Eg. Make sure I recover between sessions by doing rehab, gym, yoga and physio daily)
5. Set your Goal Achievement Strategies (GAS)
What are your daily reminders that will keep you focused on your goals? Did you achieve them? YES or NO?
(Eg. Be smart. Listen to my body and don’t take unnecessary risks.
6. Set your timeline
Now place a time reference to these goals so that you know when to achieve them by. It’s no use having goals if you don’t set yourself deadlines.
Tip: Once you have your timeline in place, a powerful exercise to do is to visualise yourself achieving each milestone goal. You can even ‘walk the timeline’ and stop at each point along the way to really live and experience those moments and to see how you would like them to happen.
Go get em!