OPINION: Setting goals the SMART way

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Derek Goforth set some personal goals in a bid to improve his fitness, which included training for a boxing match last year.
Camera IconDerek Goforth set some personal goals in a bid to improve his fitness, which included training for a boxing match last year. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Kicking goals, a very typical Oz expression.

Most often said in celebration on congratulations for a job well done.

Setting goals, however, can present all sorts of variant reasons and responses, resolutions, aspirations, objectives and targets.

Call them what you want but setting life goals can be messy and can often result in disappointment.

I decided some years go to set some real-life goals and I used a system that was perhaps originally attributed to George T. Doran.I found it incredibly useful and ultimately successful. The SMART goals are:

Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

Achievable (attainable).

Relevant (realistic and resourced, results-based).

Time bound (time-based, time-sensitive).

My goals were very personal and all centred around my fitness ambitions, specifically my desire to compete in my first boxing match.

How did my overall goal relate to the SMART system?

Well my fight was at Fists of Fury 2019, fighting out of the Geraldton Boxing Centre with Paul Barratt, so that had Specific ticked off pretty early on. I knew when, where and who I would be fighting very early on in my planning. The task seemed simple to me, training five times a week.

I knew that I was safe, my coach and my fight team knew what they were doing and my safety was always paramount. Significant, well yeah me fighting a big 110kg ‘beast’ was very significant to me and my family.

Measurable. This was easy enough. I was given classes to attend and times to spar my chosen opponents and I turned up for them. If I didn’t turn up I better have had a damn good reason. It was meaningful to see friends, ordinary Joe Bloggs, putting on gloves and going toe-to-toe was meaningful in bucket loads. There is no greater motivation to get you up for a 5am session than desperately needing to up your defence to avoid being smacked in the mouth too many times.

Achievable? Winning my fight was never my primary goal. My goal was to train as hard as I could and turn up in the ring. This was attainable, I knew I could do that, I knew I had the guts to turn up, to step through the ropes and give it everything I had.

Relevant. Perhaps realistic would be a better fit. I knew what I was capable of and the time I could dedicate to the task. My family were accommodating and understanding. My wife especially knew how important this event was to me and how it fitted into my fitness/ weight loss plan. I saw the hurdles in front of me and I had a clear and concise plan on how to jump them all.

Time-bound. The event was on a night that was set in stone. My fight was always going to be fourth on the night. All my classes, all my training, in and out of the gym was building up to this date and time. I could see the finish line, all I had to do was push myself until the event was upon me.

I have never achieved results with an airy-fairy way of planning. All my fitness success is due to this system. Due to knowing exactly what I want to do and what I must do to achieve it.

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