Monday, February 10, 2014

Realistic Goals

I have written a lot about goals, but I didn't really see a recent post about the finer points about goals.

I alluded to a few good points about goals, but I will try and be more specific today because of recent comments I have heard in the pool room.

The key with goals is to make them realistic.

What's weird about this statement is, the words REALLY need to be absorbed.  And reflected upon.

I did not know what the words REALLY meant until I started making goals for many years.  Many failed goals, I might add.

But, then I saw.

Then I understood.



But, of course.

I love goals.  But,  admittedly, I have to be in the right frame of mine to even set goals.  You can see by my blogs from the past when I was and wasn't into goals.  With the passing of my Mom only 2 1/2 years ago, goals are far from my mind.  (grief does that to you.)

Back to my main point of this blog post:  Again, the key with goals is to make them realistic.

I remember one year I had a goal to get Most Improved Player on a tour in the 90s. Boy, I learned my lesson the hard way!!  I had no control over that - someone else decided that "title" (and no, I did not win it, even though I came close).

Let's look at that again.  My unrealistic goal was to win Most Improved Player.  How would I do that?  Honestly, how does one do that and yet have no control over it?  It was an award decided upon by others.  Yet that's what my "goal" was. 

Goals ARE important because they give you that something extra to strive for, to look forward to, to plan for, etc.

But, I like simpler goals now.  Attainable goals.

Like in matches:
  • Have fun
  • Stay down
  • Smooth stroke
  • Enjoy the game we love to play

These goals below seem realistic and attainable, but sometimes they are not:
  • Get in the money
  • Last til Sunday
  • Win all my matches (in league)
  • Get in the top 25% of a tourney

All of these goals seem reasonable, but they are affected by A LOT of outside factors that you have no control over!  One time I placed 9th and didn't get in the money because the field wasn't large enough.  One time I ran into the top two players and didn't make it to Sunday.  Another time someone slopped in the 9ball and cost me a 5-0 at league.

So, as you can see, goals are only as good as you set them.

At my last tournament, I told a few friends, "just have fun; that's my goal for you."  One response was, "my goal is for you to win the tournament."  While I see that as being supportive, it's an unrealistic goal in my eyes.  Not because I can't win.  I CAN!  But, it's not my goal - my goal it to have fun and play the best of my ability.  And if the win comes with that, then that's great!  Winning a tournament is an awesome goal, but I know that most times I would be disappointed because there are so many factors that can affect that goal.

As as reminder, when you do make goals, ensure you are specific about how to reach your goals. I don't always do this well, but as an example, if someone says, "my goal is to lose weight," the person will be more successful if they list specifically how to achieve that goal.  Another example:  "Watch more videos this year."  How about, "Watch 2 videos a month." 

Whatever your goals, please make them realistic and specific for more success.  

Good luck! 

Oh, and have fun!


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