New Year, New Goals!

It is that time of the year when everyone is feeling inspired to set new goals and make positive changes in their gymnastics lives. But how do we set quality goals and more importantly how do we achieve them? In gymnastics, it is vital that we have clear goals to give us direction, focus and motivation. It helps us to break down our aspirations into manageable steps and provide thought around what we want to achieve. It also makes us accountable and allows a way to measure our progress.

“A goal is an idea of the future or desired result a person (or group of people) envisions, plans and commits to achieve”

We catch up with Jessie Tulett, who is an active member in the trampoline community in coaching and judging, on setting goals and achieving them. Jessie has represented Australia multiple times at the World Championships in Double Mini Trampoline so understands what it takes to be an elite athlete and making goals a reality.

Jessie’s Mantra 

- A dream written down with a date becomes A GOAL
- A goal broken down into steps becomes A PLAN
- A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true

How to write a goal using the SMART goal setting template

S - Specific 

Specific means that your goal should be clear and precise. Ideally your goal should describe an observable action, behaviour or result. Simply saying “I want to learn new skills” is not a specific goal! Instead you could say “I want to learn a back somersault on the beam in term 1
Does your goal clearly and specifically state what you are trying to achieve?

M - Measurable 

Measurable means that you can measure your progress towards your goal. Measurable goals often include numbers or ways of clearly telling if you achieved what you set out to do. “I want to do well at Nationals” is not a measureable goal! Instead you could say “I want to compete a difficulty of 4.0 on vault at Australian Championships
How will you (and others) know if progress is being made on achieving your goal? Can you quantify or put numbers to your outcome?

A - Attainable 

Attainable means that your goal is possible to achieve. There are lots of factors that could influence your goal; does your goal rely on other people to assist you? Are there things that could be barriers? Saying “I want to win a medal” is not an attainable goal because there are many influencing factors that are simply not in your control. For example, you could be the only person in your event… and automatically win a medal. But have you really improved on your last competition if you fell off in your routine but still won? What about “I want to improve my execution score on floor by .3 from my personal best (my PB is 8.7)”
Is your goal achievable? Is achieving your goal dependent on anyone else? What factors may prevent you from accomplishing your goal?

R - Relevant 

Relevant means that your goal is something that is important and significant to you. Having a goal that states “My coach wants me to do a triple twist on floor” but you want to do a double back instead, doesn’t mean that you cannot be working what your coach is asking of you, but be clear in communicating with your coach that a goal of yours “this year is to achieve a double back on floor”. That is YOUR goal! Your coach will have their own goals for you and that is absolutely okay.
Why is achieving this goal important to you? What values in your life does this goal reflect? What effect will achieving your goal have on your life or on others? 

T - Time-bound

Time bound means that your goal has a timeframe in which you want to achieve the outcome. “I want to be a better athlete” does not have a specific time frame and is not measurable. Having a goal more along the lines of “I want to compete all 4 competitions this year with 100% consistency on bars” will have a far better outcome.
When will you reach your goal?

Tip: Try writing your goals and talking them through with your coach, then stick them up on your wall and remind yourself what you are working towards every day!