A goal is something we want to do which we have not yet done. A broad example of an academic school goal is telling your self you will do better than you did last time on your homework or test. A more specific example of an academic school goal is telling your self you will get a particular grade or score on your next homework assignment or test.
A good way to set and realize a goal is to write down what you want, how you are going to accomplish this, when the goal will happen, and why you want this goal. An example from the above academic school example is: writing down what grade you will get, writing down the steps it will take to get there, when you will get this grade, and why you want this grade. This means if you want an ‘A’ on a test or homework, you would write down how you will get the ‘A’ grade, when you will get the grade, and why you want this grade (examples are reading homework every night 3 times, studying extra by reading flashcards, and staying after class to discuss with your teacher what grade you are trying to get and how they think you can do this).
Learning how to use goals, like anything in life, takes time. This means if you start today you should expect to see results in time…not the very next second or even day. Goals are committed plans that have a very easy to follow progression like the steps of a ladder. This means you should not expect to get to your goal by skipping rungs on the ladder or just wishing and dreaming. You must write down what you want, how you are going to do it, when you will get it, why you want it, and work smart in order to reach your goals.
In order for you to reach your goals, you need to learn and master the basics of your event. This means if you want an ‘A’ on your test or homework, you must be able to read or write or add/subtract/divide/multiply. If you have not mastered the basics yet, you should ask for additional help at every moment until you can read, write and do basic math.
You can use all of the above words to form goals for every part of your life. Examples are: wrestling goals; practice goals, skill goals, tournament goals, attitude goals, strength goals…the list is endless and infinite!!!
Your Goals Should Be SMART
- Specific- saying you will do better is less specific than saying I will get a specific grade
- Measurable- increasing work by repetitions, minutes, hours, or days
- Attainable- not so easy it takes no work to do or so hard you cannot do it
- Realistic- flying in the sky like a bird is not realistic…it is fantasy
- Timely- date when you will accomplish your goal
Set a goal that is SMART.
- Specific-10 push-ups per night is more specific than saying I will do push-ups nightly.
- Measurable-becoming a better student by studying with flashcards, re-reading aloud after reading, & asking teacher what to do to increase my scores or grades can be evaluated, analyzed, & measured.
- Attainable-not so hard no one can do it or so easy you have already done it.
- Realistic-executing 1 million push-ups in 1 minute is unrealistic – as is beating Jordan Burroughs in wrestling at your current development stage.
- Timely-when you will accomplish goal. Goals need timelines to become real…start dates and finish dates.
- Identify why this goal will make you happy or better. Think of why you will enjoy this goal.
- List obstacles in your way. Becoming a straight ‘A’ student or a state champion has many obstacles and you should list them. You may be unable to see or list all obstacles now…but they are there.
- Seek guidance and counsel. This is what your parents, teachers, coaches, and most adults are for…they can help you if you ask.
- Consider who can help you. Your friends, relatives, classmates, teammates may be able to help you if you ask.
- List skills and knowledge required. Do you have to master reading or basic math or basic wrestling skills or whatever to accomplish your goal?
- Develop a plan of action. Action or inaction makes everything happen. Write it down and do it!!!
- Set a deadline. You need a start and finish time to realize your goals…other wise you are wishing, dreaming, wasting time and running your brain in circles.
Olympic Champion and Olympic Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser created the AP&R form to assist his athletes in planning, executing, and reviewing goals. An adapted AP&R form can be found here: Athlete Planning & Review. For more mental skills resources, view Mental Skills Handbook.
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