How to Set Goals Like a Paralympic Athlete

How to Set Goals Like a Paralympic Athlete

The Paralympic Games in London run from August 29 until September 09. Paralympic athletes have overcome tremendous roadblocks to be among the best athletes in the world. Athletes set out on unimaginable goals to most able bodied people, yet manage to achieve and often surpass them. A proven way to ensure success, whether it is competing at the Paralympic games, or achieving better overall health is to set S.M.A.R.T Goals.

Below is the S.M.A.R.T Goals acronym. Use this system to create your own personal goals surrounding better health and fitness.

S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

Specific Goals:
Use a key tool such as the 6-W questions (who, what, where, when, why) to establish specific goals. Simply stating you want to compete in a half marathon is not enough. Write out a sentence about WHO will help you reach the goal, WHAT you want to achieve, WHERE you will go about your goal, WHEN the goal must be achieved and WHY you are doing this for yourself.

Measureable Goals:
Measure your progress at frequent intervals to determine whether you are on track. The two key factors in measurable goals are knowing if what you are doing is working, and the motivation that the initial success will give you.

Attainable Goals:
Do not set yourself up for failure! Attainable goals will propel you to success and keep the motivation factor alive. Set small sets of goals, because reaching them or even surpassing them will only make you feel better and aim higher in the future.

Realistic Goals:
If you want to lose 10 pounds is it realistic that you will never eat junk food again? Make sure to be realistic when allocating a certain amount of time into a goal, or instead of totally eliminating something from your life, allow yourself “cheat” moments. We have all heard of Olympic athletes who have completely eliminated alcohol or sweets from their life, but make sure your plans are realistic to the lifestyle you want.

Stick To Timely Goals:
All goals need timelines. Having a beginning, middle and end point are the most important parts of a well-set goal. Set short-term and long-term goals to create more meaningful goals in your life. Timetables and calendars are great tools to measure goals and keep you on track.

Whether your goals are competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, quitting smoking or simply to laugh more, use the S.M.A.R.T technique to achieve your goals and feel an amazing sense of accomplishment.

By Sarah Bamber.