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Set Goals to Succeed

Set Goals to Succeed

Goal_Set_1by Steve Ward
courtesy of Sleepmonsters

Are You Navigating Your Way To Success In Life’s Great Adventure Race?

“Excuse me sir,” Alice enquires, “Could you tell me which road to take?” Wisely, the Caterpillar asks, “Where are you going?” Somewhat dismayed Alice responds “Oh, I don’t know where I am going sir”, “Well,” replied the Caterpillar, “If you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t really matter which road you take.”
(Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carrol)

Do you know which road to take? Do you know where you are going with your adventure racing? What is it that you want from the season? What races will you do? What reasons are you entering for? Are you racing solo, team or a mixture? What skills do you need to learn or develop? What aspects of your fitness will you work on? Have you begun to plan for success, or are you just hoping that it will happen?

Research has proven over and over again that those people who have clearly defined, written down goals, that are regularly reviewed, consistently outperform those people who do not set goals. This is true in all areas of life, and particularly in sports. Goal setting is fundamental to peak performance and high achievement. It is the navigational element of life’s great adventure race.

Goal_Set_3What Kind Of Goal Setter Are You?

The Plodder – no goals – I just do what I have to do. The Thinker – I know what I want to do in my head. The Planner – I have clearly defined, written down goals that are reviewed regularly. What would you rather do – plod along hoping for success, think about success, or plan for success?

Why Are Goals Important?

Goals provide motivation, feedback and direction. There is great power in knowing what you want, choosing what you want and committing to achieve it. Goals give us focus. The very act of setting a goal and writing it down unlocks our creative resources to bring it to fruition. The human mind is a natural goal seeking mechanism, and when we focus on our goals, our subconscious mind begins to work for us to help us to achieve success.

Have you ever noticed how when you have made a committed decision to buy a new car you notice more of them on the road, and how you suddenly notice them at car dealerships that you have driven past many times, and how they seem to stand out from the others in the car classifieds? This is the subconscious mind helping you. It filters all of the millions of bits of information that it is presented with each second, picking out those pieces which are of most benefit to you, based on what you are focussed on. The same process occurs when you are focussed on a sporting goal.

Be “Me” focussed – set goals which are under your control. Think about aspects such as fitness levels, technical skills and performance targets to work on rather than race results etc.
– Achievable – but challenging!
– Reviewed – keep your goals reviewed and updated to ensure continued progress and motivation.
– Timed – set deadlines to provide motivation and focus.
2. Ensure that your goals are in line with your values, beliefs, and particularly your commitments – work, family, other hobbies/sports.
3. Write them down …think it and ink it. The very act of setting a goal and writing it down unlocks our creative resources to bring it to fruition.
4. Visualise achieving your goals. Imagine how it would feel. This is a great way of keeping your goals compelling.
5. Develop a plan of action to achieve your goals. Step by step. Ask yourself “What can I do today towards achieving my goals?”
6. Prioritise your goals – do not focus on too many at one time.
7. Make it fun – keep a goals diary where you record your goals, both the setting and the achieving. Reward yourself when you achieve your goals – you deserve it!

Team Considerations

If you are racing as a team this year, whether it be as a pair, three or four, it is essential that you spend some time together to set some team goals. A common goal is one of the most important factors in team cohesion, and success. Imagine if in your team of three one person is racing with the personal challenge of finishing, another is competing purely for fun, and the third is racing to win! It is fine for everyone to have personal goals, but they must be set within the context of the desired team outcome if the teams full potential is to be achieved.

When The Going Gets Tough

Most things in life are a choice. Whether you set goals or not is a choice. Whether you plan for success, or hope that it will happen is a choice. With all the athletes and teams that I work with goal setting is a key, and fundamental part of their programs. I recommend that everyone takes a few minutes to decide on, and commit to their key goals.

Finally, when the going gets tough in an event, knowing that you are working towards, and committed to a compelling goal, can provide the necessary motivation and determination to keep going – what is often referred to as mental toughness!

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