With the Olympic Games in full swing and athletes striving for their ultimate goal, it’s timely to think your own personal goals. While you have more chance of winning first division Lotto than Olympic gold, it is inspiring to see an athlete’s dream fulfilled. However as most us know, it is not always easy to find ways of achieving our goals.
Our own 2012 Olympic Gold medal winning rower, Hamish Bond said after his pairs final that fear of failing to live up to what they knew they were capable of was a strong motivator in achieving their goal.
I wrote down that my biggest fear this whole campaign was not being able to deliver on what I knew I was capable of.
Last week I also read about the popular life coach and self-help guru Tony Robbins, who hosts seminars designed to teach people strategies for improving themselves, relationships, finances and careers. According to Tony, what holds most people back from achieving their goals in life is “fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of pain, and fear of the unknown”. Famously, part of his Unleash the Power Within seminar gives participants the opportunity to face and overcome their fears by walking on fire. Apparently Oprah loved it.
Bearing in mind that rowing is a brutal sport and requires getting up for training at 4am every day, six days a week and fire walking on hot coals is not my cup of tea (recent media headlines saying fire walk seriously burns 21 people’s feet are rather off-putting), I thought there must be less stressful ways of achieving a personal goal. There is a plethora of advice out there on dealing with fear of failure but I think simple goal setting is a good way to start.
Setting goals helps you channel your ideas and efforts and it’s a good idea to get into the habit. It helps to break down your goal into short-term objectives; for example your long-term goal may be to get a graduate job but first you need to identify the steps it will take to get there. In order for these goals to be effective they should be SMART.
Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Think about the what, when, why and how when setting your goals
Measurable -Think about whether what you have set can be measured
Attainable -Set goals that you can attain in your current situation and within the time frame.
Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must be “do-able”. Challenge yourself; goals don’t have to be easy, but can you realistically carry out the goal?
Timely – Establish a time frame for each goal.
A positive way of framing your goal could be “I want to be prepared for the job market before I finish my degree”. Think about the steps required to achieve this goal – researching employers and current job opportunities, identifying your skills, getting a targeted CV ready, attending an interview technique workshop – and set them into a realistic time frame. Remember to write your goals down and review them regularly. And be inspired by the incredible effort of anyone who competes in an Olympic event! Still not convinced about the fire walking…