What is goal-setting?

Goal-setting is a procedure that people use when they have a specific task, a desire or a want they wish to achieve (Locke 1981).

The best kind of goals are S.M.A.R.T
When looking at each part of your life and thinking about goal-setting, it is very important to remember the following guidelines

Be specific
– don’t just make it a goal like “I want to be an psychologist” be precise in what kind of psychologist you want to be, such as “I want to a sports psychologist who works with performers i.e. musicians”

Measurable
– so you know when you have achieved them and you are able to tick them off once they are achieved – as they are measurable in some way e.g. it will take six to seven years to gain my degrees.

Achievable
– make sure can you reach them through your own efforts and that your success is not reliant on others e.g. have I got the scores I need to do psychology at uni

Realistic
– (within your means) are you capable of putting your social life on the back burner for the time needed to achieve them. And Relevant – do I really want to achieve this, and Review them regularly, how am I going what have I achieved so far.

Time limited
– so that you can work towards your goals, my undergrad will take four years, my Postgrad will take me 1 year and my masters should take me two years.

Many goals often need to be combined in short and long term steps
. For example:

Subjective goals
– getting fit, learning to have fun, and doing your best
General objective goals – getting high marks, or making the teams
Specific objective goals – increase the hours of practices or study
Outcome goals – these represent standards of performance which focus on your results of a contest e.g. beating others to gain a place on the team or into the uni course you applied for.
Performance goals – these focus on improvements relative to your own past performances e.g. improved marks or playing skills.
Process goals – the specific procedures in which the performer will engage in during a performance e.g., a boxer keeping his feet moving when fatigued or a netballer keeps her arm straight when she shoots a goal.


These distinctions are important as evidence suggests that certain types of goals are more useful in changing behavior than other types of goals (Williams 2006).