Goal Setting for 2021

2020 has provided some unique and unforeseen challenges. However, with New Year’s Eve just around the corner it’s time to turn our attention all the positive possibilities 2021 holds.

Make the most of 2021 by setting yourself a new goal. If you have been recently affected by the tightening of restrictions made by the UK Government, see it is an opportunity to focus on you or an aspect of your riding you would not usually have time for.

If you work in business or sport you are likely to have heard the ‘SMART’ acronym for goal setting. This well-known acronym helps you create goals that are:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time based.

It is a tried and tested method of setting goals. However, having supported athletes in their sporting journeys, here are my top things to consider when setting goals for this New Year.

1. Make it Enjoyable

This is something that gets overlooked sometimes when setting a new goal or target. However, I believe a goal should be something you feel motivated towards achieving. Think about what you enjoy and would like to improve on for example, jumping a course of show jumps or achieving a certain percentage in a dressage test. If you yourself set the goal, you become invested in its success and are therefore more likely to stay motivated and achieve it.

2. Set a realistic goal

Choose something that you can achieve. Think about your lifestyle and work commitments before setting your goal. For example, if you worked full time it would be unrealistic and unsustainable to set your goal as wanting to attend the gym every day. However, setting a goal of exercising three times a week additionally to riding twice at weeks would be a realistic goal for the situation.

Be ready to change and adapt your goal, especially in the first half of 2021.

3. Be flexible!

Be ready to change and adapt your goal, especially in the first half of 2021. We currently live in an unpredictable world where changes are occurring every day. Therefore, chose a goal that can flex to these changes. You also should ensure that you too are willing to be flexible and make changes to the goal if required.

4. Set a time constraint

This will undoubtedly help you focus. Think about your lifestyle and what the goal is you want to achieve and therefore realistically how long it will take you.

5. Review your progress

This must be one of the most important factors for me. Reviewing your progress will help with several things. Firstly, it will show you how far you’ve come in working towards your goal which is a great motivator and confidence boost. It will also allow you to refocus on the journey you still have to complete to reach your goal, making any changes that you feel are necessary.

So whether you follow the traditional ‘SMART’ acronym, follow my tips or do a combination of the two I wish you every success in achieving your goals in 2021!