Goal Setting for Greatness!

  • SumoMe

Goal setting is a powerful success strategy that for me simplifies the process of reaching what I set out to accomplish.  This article is taken from my book Your Competition Handgun Training Program and the references about the “training program” are related to the training program you can find in that book.  

Goal Types – I break goals into three areas: End goals, Performance goals and Enabling goals.   The following definitions of my specific goal types should be easy to understand and

Defending pistol division champ Mike Seeklander gets his game face on during the stage briefing. It must of worked considering he won again and posted the fasted overall time. Photo by P. Erhardt

Defending pistol division champ Mike Seeklander gets his game face on during the stage briefing. It must of worked considering he won again and posted the fasted overall time. Photo by P. Erhardt

follow.   I will give you my examples afterward so you can just copy mine if you want (personalize them to your needs though).   Definitions and explanations of the three types of goals are:

  • End goals– End goals are the ultimate end state you wish to reach or accomplish.  If you could have everything you want (relating to the area we are discussing), what would that be?  What is the ultimate end state, if you do everything perfectly and all goes as planned?  This program is a year in length, so write your end goal based on the first year you use this program.   If you have a loftier end goal, go ahead and write that down, too.  Set them yearly at a minimum.  Try to write your end goals so that they are realistic.  I don’t recommend stating you are going to “win” an event as an end goal in itself, but as a part of an end goal.  For example, I like to write my end goals so that I have control over every aspect of the goal.  I then write what meeting my goal will allow me to do.   Also, make sure you have a timeframe set and include that in your goal, even if it is a broad timeframe.  You don’t have to list the exact date you will meet your goal unless you actually have that date.  I add one more thing to my end goal statement and it is a WIFM (What’s In It For Me) line.  This is a statement that captures how I believe I will be rewarded for meeting my goal.  You can list anything that will motivate you to meet your goal.  This statement is very much personal and everyone is motivated by something different, so don’t hesitate to be very specific and even selfish here.  After all you are the one doing the work.  Here are a couple end goal examples:

Version 1 End Goal (Not recommended) – “I will win the 2012 National and World Championships.”

Version 2 End Goal (Good) – “During the 2010 and 2011 shooting seasons, I will put in the work and meet or exceed all of my enabling and performance goals, allowing me to be the best practical shooter in the world.  This will allow me to win the 2012 World Championships and numerous other matches.”  WIFM (What’s In It For Me): “Meeting this goal will reward me with the realization of meeting my life long goal, one set many years ago.  I will reward myself with a vacation to Italy with my wife.”

This picture shows the failure point cycle, a key to improvement during goal-ceentric practice.

This picture shows the failure point cycle, a key to improvement during goal-ceentric practice.

Can you see the difference between version 1 and 2?  I might not win a certain match or event if someone shows up that puts in the same amount or more work, and has more natural talent than I do.  The truth is that I might get beat.  I like to be honest with myself and accept that I am not perfect, and focus on what I can completely control (through my preparation and training) rather than what I cannot.  I can’t control who is going to show up and what kind of preparation they have done.  I can only control what I do.  One thing I know is that if I do my preparation like I have planned, then I will have a very good chance at actually winning whatever event I am training for.

  • Performance goals – Performance goals are the performance related goals you must reach in order to meet your end goal.  If possible, these should be metric goals that are measurable and thus improvable (numbers).  These are the things that you will have to be able to do to actually accomplish your end goals.  For example, if you want to win a World Speed Shooting (Steel Challenge) title, you can look at the results from previous years and break them down into measurable performance related goals (skills) that you must be able to do, in order to win that match.  You will set performance goals for each major end goal you intend to meet, so if you set your end goals by stating that you will win some key event, you might have different performance goals for each separate event.  As you meet your end goal, or as your skill increases, keep raising the bar.  Remember, your performance goals are goals that will directly facilitate reaching your end goal.
  • Enabling goals – Enabling goals are the small things that you will have to do to build the skills that will allow you to reach your performance goals, thus allowing you success at reaching your end goal.  Enabling goals will be directly related to your training modules.  Your enabling goals are already pre-established in this program, but you need to understand what they are and how to write them for future goals you set down the road.   In reference to enabling goals (in essence the work that you will need to do), there is one author[1] that has a term that he calls MP100+20, which motivates the athletes he works with to meet their regular training sessions and then strive to do 20% more work than they have scheduled.    What a great motivator!  Just remember, your competitor is doing the work….

Writing Your Goals – Okay, now lets get your goals down on paper.  Get a piece of paper. Better yet, get onto your computer if you have one and open up a word processing program so you can type your goals and print them.  This will allow you to have multiple copies and include one in your training logbook.  When you have the piece of paper or computer cranked up, answer the following to the best of your ability:

  1. What do you really want to accomplish this season?
  2. What is the best result you can imagine?
  3. When do you want to accomplish this/them?
  4. If there are multiple tasks you see yourself accomplishing if everything goes perfect, what are they?
  5. What is in it for you?
End Goals
  1. What must you be able to perform in order to meet your end goal?
  2. What are the performance related metrics that you think will allow you to reach your end goals? (List as many as you can think of)
Performance Goals
  1. What must you do to accomplish all of these performance goals that you listed? (Be detailed and specific here, this is where most of your real planning will take place)
Enabling Goals

[1] Jason Selk, 10-Minute Toughness (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004).

So get to it, you are in the off season more than likely right now, and perfect time to set those goals!

Your Action Steps:

  • Comment on and share it if you learned something from this article and like it! (there is a comment box and Facebook link below the article)
  • Follow the action steps above to improve the focus of your practice sessions.
  • Begin the goal setting process now, and use it for anything you want.  Remember, if you “see it, you will achieve it.”
  • We have roughly a month to prioritize and set goals!  Make 2015 your dominant year!
    You might also like this article: Try-Versus-Do

Until Then – Train Hard!

Mike S.

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