Can you believe it? We’re already at the end of January. I am confident that by now you’ve set al your goals for the year. So this post might be a bit after the fact, but as it is my first post, and I am a firm believer that you only achieve success if you begin with the end in mind, I still would like to share some thoughts with you.
When I ask my clients what their goals are, I typically get very similar responses: ‘I want to win a medal at nationals’, ‘I want to be selected to play Super Rugby’, ‘We want to win our league’ etc. These are however ‘high-level’ goals and it is near to impossible to effectively focus on achieving them. We then work together and break these down, so that ultimately they have goals that they can focus on, that is within their control, and of which the achievement of will automatically lead to the achievement of the initial goal.
From the above I’m sure you can gather that I believe in a ‘multiple goal strategy’. Time and time again have I seen athletes achieve their goals when employing such a strategy. I strongly encourage you to do the same!
So what is a multiple goal strategy? It is a method whereby you set three different types of goals – Outcome goals, Performance goals and Process goals. Let me illustrate this by means of an example: Peter is a track athlete and would like to win the 100m at their national championship.
Because the outcome goal refers to the outcome of an event, Peter’s outcome goal is to win the 100m at their national championship. In order to improve the likelihood of achieving this goal, he needs to be more specific and break it down – this is where the performance and process goals come in handy.
A performance goal is related to specific criteria that are directly informed by the outcome goal. Peter knows that a certain time is very likely to lead to victory. He works with his coach, and together they identify the times required in training that will enable him to run the necessary time at the national championship. I.e. he knows that if he runs certain times for a specific 60m and 150m routine, he is very likely to run the 100m in the required time. On numerous occasions have I seen that where athletes have set performance goals, they are more likely to accomplish their outcome goals.
The process goal takes it a step further, and will allow you to concentrate on certain behaviours related to your performance goal. For his 60m, Peter knows he can focus on a quick reaction time, keeping his head down and having a high knee drive. For the 150m, he knows he can focus on leaning into the turn, accelerating out of the turn, maintaining a high knee drive and relaxing through the line. These are all behaviours that is within his control and on which he can focus.
A good test to see whether you have in fact set process goals, is to keep asking the question ‘How’? If it is difficult to get to an answer, you’ve probably broken it down to the behaviours that is within your control and on which you can focus. Once you’ve done that, you’ve already made monumental strides towards accomplishing your goals and dreams.