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Goal Setting

From my sports psychology lecture notes for those who have made new years resolutions. The goals you set should be…


  • simple, clear and understandable
  • focus on particular behaviours or outcomes


  • observe and quantify particular outcomes
  • need baseline, pre-post comparison


  • individually matched to ability
  • too easy: lose interest, no value
  • too hard: frustration, reduced confidence, giving up
  • “just right”


  • match goals to preferences, challenges, priorities, time available etc…


  • use short-term and long-term goals, set deadlines
  • too short: give up
  • too long: procrastinate

To enhance motivation, goals should be:

Fostering individuals (and teams)

  • challenge personal fears and stereotypes
  • if you put in more effort/sacrifices, you will see positive changes
  • team goals focus on group values and “scores”, not individuals only

Internalized and Inspired

  • self-determined (known task) or assigned (unknown task) so if you know how to do the task, it’s better for you to set the goal
  • supported by others
  • have role models
  • keep reminders (eg pictures, sayings)

Rewarded and Reinforced

  • make rewards appropriate for goal
  • social, material reinforcement


  • record strengths and needs
  • review “plan of attack” ie keep logs, video
  • ask for input and feedback

SMART goals FIRE up motivation!

Categories: Education, Life
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  1. December 18, 2012 at 9:01 am
  2. October 27, 2016 at 9:05 am

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