Swimmers are very ambitious people, but often times, we’ll bite off more than we can chew. A resolution without a plan is just wishful thinking, so it’s super important to set SMART Goals for yourself. Here’s how:
What are smart goals?
Firstly, if you want long-term success, be clear about what you want to accomplish. When setting goals, it’s crucial that they be very defined and methodical in your approach. To help you succeed, use the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goal process. The five building blocks for reaching your goals are below:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-Bound
Fluffy Goal: “My goal is to swim faster”
SMART Goal: “My goal is to drop 4 seconds in the 200 Long Course Meter Freestyle by the Regional Championships on May 31st by focusing on improving my turns and I’ll do this by taking 3 underwater dolphin kicks off every wall in workout.”
Fluffy Goal: “My goal is to lose weight”
SMART Goal: “My goal is to lose 10 lbs by July 31st by swimming 3x/week for 60 minutes, meal prepping twice a week, and weighing in once every week with my best friend.”
- Define: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How.
- ‘Swim faster’ or ‘lose weight’ will not cut it.
- What gets measured gets improved.
- What metrics are you tracking?
- Give yourself daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal steps/goals.
- Accomplish one, then move onto the next one.
- Is your goal realistic? Can you physically, mentally do it, right now?
- If not, no shame, just change the goal to something you can accomplish.
- Stretch yourself, but don’t chase something that will discourage you.
- Does the goal fit into your overall plan for yourself?
- Understanding the ‘why’ you want to do something is very powerful.
- Set a time horizon, because you need a finish line.
- Give yourself a deadline.
Other Goal Setting Tips:
- Determine roadblocks that may keep you from reaching your goal and make a plan to get around them.
- Don’t chase other people’s goals, set your own goals for yourself.
- Make sure you’re passionate about your goal.
- Write out your SMART goals, get it on paper and all the steps you need to get there to hold yourself accountable.
- Anticipate set-backs – don’t get discouraged if you get off track, focus on the end goal.
- Don’t set goals that someone else has power over.
- Approach writing SMART goals with a positive attitude.
- E:R: Evaluate and Re-Do – constantly evaluate your goal and re-set as needed.
- Goals can change, so establish clarity around success and failure.
The final thing to remember when it comes to achieving large goals is to actually jump in and get started. That’s why breaking your goals into rituals and process goals is so important. As human beings, we’re wired to avoid disappointment.
If your goals feel unachievable, you’ll start to self sabotage. Don’t work against your brain. Embrace our limitations as humans and work with smaller, more manageable goals and rituals.