Importance of Goal-Setting

Importance of Goal-Setting

What is “Goal Setting”?

Without putting too fine a point on it, goal setting is the difference between achievement and disappointment. Sound dramatic? That’s because it is – in order to succeed, you need to have something to achieve; goals. Goals are critical, and setting them is even more important – there is skill involved in picking your battles.

What to do

Ultimate End

Firstly identify the ultimate endpoint. For me it is becoming my truest self, and that is:

  • Become stronger/faster/more endurant
  • Sculpt specific areas of my body (arms, traps, abdomen & back)
  • Develop skills in order to be useful (first aid, life-saving, Martial Arts etc)
  • Improve Time-management

It is an idea, and in my head it is “Becoming Inari” – the character in one of my books whom exemplifies everything that I long for, and thus is the perfect reference point for an end-goal. Everything I do is working toward that end

The Road there…

Next, using the same personal example, it is about looking at what needs to be done:

  1. Martial Art
  2. Resistance Training (Strength & Hypertrophy)
  3. Swimming
  4. Life Saving & First Aid
  5. Discipline

Although more specific, it is still rather vague. Which martial art, what strength program, what skill in swimming? How does one become more disciplined?

Specificity (Micro-micro)

Breakdown the above list into individual categories/goals, and then look at how to get to that level in each area. Once again for example we’ll stick with the above:

Martial Art

  • Research potential Martial Arts
  • Attend classes to assess potential (both in terms of instruction & content)
  • Select Martial Art
  • Begin training

Resistance Training

  • Begin general Strength Training programme (3x sessions per week; 8 weeks)
  • Focus on specific target areas (3x sessions per week; 8 weeks)
  • More comprehensive accessory work for definition
  • Change programme every 8 weeks (variations of techniques e.g. toggle between front/back squat)
  • Continue until satisfactory level of Strength & Definition is achieved; switch to maintenance training


  • Enroll in swimming class
  • Learn proper technique (especially breathing)
  • Get used to opening eyes under water
  • Improve overall endurance with lengths (under & atop water)
  • Become proficient in various strokes

First Aid & Life Saving

  • Look into First Aid courses & qualifications
  • Sign up for most suitable
  • Complete First Aid course
  • Research Life Saving course (to be done¬†after¬†achieving Swimming goals)
  • Enroll in suitable course
  • Complete course

Discipline & Time Management

  • Set basic micro-goals for week (ensure achievement)
  • Expand upon goals for the week; more specific time-intense goals
  • Avoid time-wasting i.e. not chipping away at your list
  • Set up a framework around the most predictable parts of your day e.g. work, diet (what you’re eating) & training
  • Set realistic & achievable goals to keep the ball rolling

Review Progress at Regular Intervals

Mindlessly working toward goals is as bad as mindlessly going through the motions without aim. You need to constantly review your progress – keep what’s working for you, drop what isn’t. Variation & awareness is key. Think critically and don’t be afraid to ask people for help.


Tips & Tricks for Success

Make your goals simple, straight forward and easy to achieve. Micro achievements encourage continued participation. In other words the more successful you are, the more likely you are to continue down the same path. Next up; don’t take it too much to heart if you do not immediately achieve a particular goal in the allotted time – you may not be setting realistic goals. Review the goal, your progress & your training, and adjust accordingly. Finally, acknowledge that there will be set backs. Without exception, you will go backward as well as forward – it is just one of those things that you need to accept, and be prepared to work harder when you realise the setback.