Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, you have that same thing on your mind…and I won’t even say it here because it’s mentioned so much. You wonder if it’s worth it? Of course it is. Think about it…where do you want to be in 5 days time, in 5 weeks time, in 5 months time, in 5 years time? What’s going to get you to that place? HARD WORK. Sometimes we lose sight of where we want to go in life which is why it’s a great help to set goals.
Why set goals?
– Goals give you long-term vision
– Goals give you short-term motivation
– Goals help you organize your time so that you are getting the most out of your life with regrad to both exercise and schoolwork.
As well as the benefits of setting goals outlined above, there are many other reasons for setting goals for yourself. One of these is self-discipline which is very important if you are someone who is easily distracted, finds yourself off-task and procrastinates. Goals also have the ability to be measured and on achievement you may feel pride and contentment in yourself for doing a good job! Goals also have the ability to boost self-confidence as you complete more goals…giving you an unmistakable Rocky Balboa feeling…
How to set goals…
There are a number of things to remember when going about setting yourself goals. I will break these down into a number of easy to follow steps!
1. Big Picture
The first thing you must do is identify a big picture. Picture yourself in 5-10 years; what do you see? Where do you see yourself? Analyse this image and take the main findings from it. Then begin to break these down into smaller specific goals.
2. Overall Perspective
It is really important that you don’t neglect certain aspects of your life whilst goal setting. So although some areas (E.g. study) may take precedent for a proportion of the year, it is still vitally important that you do not forget about the other areas of your life which is why we think you should set some goals regarding exercise are important too. Maybe you want to be able to do 10 sit-ups, maybe you want to run 10km…it’s up to you but make sure it’s realistic but challenging.
3. Have ‘SMART’ Goals
‘SMART’ is a simple anagram used to remember the key aspects of goals.
S – Goals should be specific and precise, identify exactly what it is you wish to achieve. Use dates, times and amounts to keep these focused
M – Goals should be measurable; you should be able to identify whether you have achieved them or not.
A – Goals should be attainable and realistic. This may involve some reflection on past experiences in the area and decide what is achievable.
R – Goals should be relevant. They should really matter to you and have significance; you should be doing these for yourself and no-one else.
T – The last thing to remember is goals should be time-bound. They should be accomplishable within a certain time frame. If certain goals will take a long time, perhaps these may need to be broken down further so that you remain motivated and focused.
4. Express Goals Positively
Make sure to always express your goals in a positive manner, refrain from saying ‘I wont’ or ‘Don’t’ and instead begin them with ‘I will.’
5. Write Goals Down!
By writing your goals down it is like signing an imaginary contract with yourself. You are making the goals real and you also have the added satisfaction of crossing them off as you complete them!
6. Reward yourself!
Last but not least it is very important that you acknowledge your achievements. By doing this it will encourage you to make and stick to goals in the future. So it is something as simple as a relaxing evening away from the books or with friends, make sure that the completion of your goals doesn’t go forgotten!
Now get goal-setting and remember you are doing this to get the most out of yourself and out of your time. You shouldn’t see this as a chore but the first step on the road to success!!
“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement”
Included is a short interview with Sarah Dolan who is currently in her final year in college studying Physical Education. At the moment she is playing senior football with Westmeath and believes that setting goals is vital for finding the balance between exercise and study.