JANUARY 2022: Goal Setting

By: Shane Moody

It's a new year, which means everyone is setting new year's resolutions! This is a great start to the year, but the real question is who will succeed in their resolutions? Resolutions are interconnected with goals. Goals help one narrow one's mindset to focus on character, strengths, and behaviors that allow an individual to build a life of meaning and purpose. It is through this process that motivation is created, which enhances one's ability to take appropriate risks to pursue, persevere, and prevail in their goal. Through this accomplishment, individuals have the ability to harness self-belief that they can create favorable outcomes that are very attainable and attractive to their given areas of choice. (Biswas-Diener, 2010). Not only will this give confidence in performance and life, but when there are struggles faced, they will look towards having a problem-solving mindset to get to where they want to go.

Process Of Setting Goals:

A great way to help develop and enhance goal efficacy is through the usage of the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting system. This allows individuals to take proper steps to achieve their goals. The S.M.A.R.T. goal acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Set real numbers, track the goal, work towards it, be honest with yourself, and give yourself a deadline. It is critical for athletes to build their goals in a step-by-step process and to always keep them attainable. If this process is followed, this leads to narrow focus and can help with barriers to not letting the expectations of others dictate one’s success.

It is a good idea to have a mixture of short-term and long-term goals through this process. This will ensure one sets a deadline that varies based on the necessity of the process required. For our purposes, short-term goals will be defined as a target that is critical to accomplish first. Something that must be accomplished before long-term goals can be obtained.  In layman's terms, A short-term goal is something you want to accomplish in the foreseeable future. By juxtaposition, long-term goals are goals that supersede those of the short-term goals. Those to be achieved in the distant future. Often, they are principles and objectives that are tied to succeeding in both your professional and personal life.

A final critical component of goal-setting is the practice of breaking down goals into categories and increments which increases effectiveness in one’s goal achievement potential. A typical breakdown is into three subsets; outcome goals, performance measures, and process goals.

  • Outcome goals: Focus on a competitive result of an event, such as winning a race, earning a medal, or scoring more points than an opponent (Weinberg, 2019). These goals depend on effort and show one's capacity of ability. 
  • Performance Measures:  Analyze the achievement of standards or performance objectives independently of other competitors. Performance goals help focus on an appropriate locus of control for the individual which is important when narrowing focus (Weinburg, 2019). 
  • Process Goals: Clarify the actions an individual must engage in during their endeavor to execute or perform well.

Within the sports performance specialization, process goals tend to carry an exceptionally large and substantial weight of importance. They are some of the most vital goals for an athlete because of the high necessity of execution and reflection of competencies.  This process is of immeasurable significance to succeed in their sport and in life. It has been said that the “process is so very important regardless of the outcome.” At Elite Speed we continuously see that lived out in the lives of our athletes and their families. It is through this goal-setting process that so much of their athletic journey, character, and lives are irreconcilably changed. Take a moment, dig deeper into your resolutions, and utilize this process so maybe this year all your goals can come true!


Biswas-Diener, R. (2010). Practicing positive psychology coaching: Assessment, activities, and strategies for success. John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Weinburg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2019). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (7th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.