Step by step process to ‘success’

One way of achieving your success in the future is using goal setting as a strategy to help manage and planning your development and progression. Within goal setting it is important to state specifically what it is you want to achieve, this is known as a Long Term Goal. This long-term goal will pre-determine how you set and plan any subsequent action. Therefore, careful consideration has to be made regarding this intention. What is it you really want to achieve and why do you want to achieve this specially? The goal you set yourself may have a dramatic impact on your life and the direction your life turns.  The process is like a journey with a start point and end point. This journey has to be both flexible and dynamic to allow the process to be achievable.

The goal setting journey that supports your long term goal can be divided down into four distinct categories:

  1. Medium Term Outcome Goals
  2. Medium Term Process Goals
  3. Short Term Process Goals
  4. Short-Term Outcome Goals


These stages allow you to keep your focus and set yourself targets in a manageable and coherent manner. To define Process goals, they are something you do en route to an outcome goal. The focus should be more on the process goal then the outcome goal.

Medium Term Outcome Goals:

  • These will embrace what you do towards the achievement of your long-term outcome goal.
  • Usually for a period between 6 Months – 1 Year


For example a free kick in football. An outcome goal maybe being more relaxed before kicking the ball.

Medium Term Process Goals:

  • A process goal is something you do en route to an outcome goal
  • Goals that are set monthly


For example a free kick in football. Practising Centering is an example of the Process Goal.

Short-Term Outcome Goals:

What you do en route to the medium-term outcome goal e.g., Winning local county, selection for trials.

  • Usually short term outcome goals are for the next few days and weeks and up to a month.
  • Printed out and photo attached on a wall. Continually reinforcing the subconscious.


Short Term Process Goals:

These are the most important of all your goals

  • Beginning of each week record each short-term goal.
  • This process requires a high level of self management.


Goal setting is under pinned through the need to make change. Goals are a strategy that facilitates this changing process. Goal setting can be defined by the acronym S.M.A.R.T. All goals need to involve the following:

  1. Specific


  1. Challenging and Controllable


  1. Attainable


  1. Multiple and Measurable


  1. Personal and Progressive


The SMART principle will help focus and clearly define your goals. Remember to review each week. It is important to reinforce the daily processes that need to go on and for them to achieve their outcome goals in the short medium and long term, athletes naturally tend to over emphasise the outcome goals and under emphasise the process goals and by over emphasising outcome goals this could have a whole series of negative effects such as anxiety, negative affect detriments in self-efficacy and so on and so forth. So getting a good programme of short term goals in is one of the key aspects of successful performance

Goals are not set in stone. Flexibility is crucial when setting goals to allow flexibility and creativity to occur.  Goals should be attainable however 10% of the goals should stretch you. Goals that you set require 10% of the process to really stretch the athlete. If you have too greater percentage that really over stretches the athlete then this is likely to course unwanted anxiety and could have a negative impact on performance.