So the first thing that you probably thought upon reading the title was, “I don’t play football!” But let me assure you, this about kicking your own goals.
On my way home from University games, I bought a little book called “The Decision Book” by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler, which is packed of really handy strategies and models for strategic thinking, and it reminded me of a handy little goal setting strategy that I learned a few years ago, it’s quite popular so you’re likely already familiar with it.
It’s called SMARTER goal setting.
Specific – The goal must be specific. Having an ambiguous or generalised goal, which is important for refining and outlining exactly what you hope to achieve, and the things are involved in completing it, e.g. “I will eat healthier” is too open ended, instead, try for “I will create a weekly meal-plan full of nutritious and healthy food” or something similar.
Measurable – Goals are quantifiable, and should be able to have their progress measured. Having a measurable goal is important for understanding your progress: How far have I come? How far have I got to go? What things do I need to do in order to maintain my progress? What things need to be adjusted to improve my progress?
Achievable – This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Is your goal achievable? What things do you need to change in your behaviour or attitude to help you achieve your goal? What skills, financial capacity, attitudes and abilities do I need to complete my goal? Naturally, the length of your goal will impact on how achievable it is, but we’ll get to that later.
Realistic – This is where you need to have some honest reflection. On my wall I have a piece of paper that reads: “Long-shot goal: 2020 Olympics”. Yeah, I’ve considered trying to make the path into the 2020 Australian Olympics Baseball team, but if I sit down and have an honest reflection, it isn’t realistic for me. But that being said, almost anything is accomplishable if you give enough hustle and work towards completing it done.
Time-bound – Set a time limit. Mark a date on your calendar, when must you complete your goal by? Naturally, different goals will have different lengths of time to be completed, e.g. short and long-term goals. A short-term goal is something that can be completed soon, and with (perhaps) quite little effort. Long-term goals are usually more difficult, have more variables that require time to be completed; but this is entirely dependant on what you want to achieve.
Evaluate – Pretty straight forward. Evaluate your progress and barriers that are in your way, taking the time to adjust to those barriers to ensure that you can keep progressing with your goal.
Re-do – If you didn’t complete your goal, or perhaps didn’t complete it to the standard that you would have liked, sit down and put your goal through the SMARTER process again!
So, hopefully with this strategy in mind, you can apply it to goals of all kinds, sporting, personal, professional, academic, you name it!