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    Carey Smith on Short Term Goal Setting



    I watched a presentation many years ago by olympic marathon runner Robert de Castella – he was a world champion runner. He was popularly known as Deeks. He was asked how he continued to gain the motivation to train for a marathon. He replied – I dont need to gain the motivation to train for a marathon. I quickly worked out all I needed to do was put on my running shoes. That is 90% of the battle you have with your mind. Once I did that the run was the easy part. The next time you want to go for a run or go to the gym he said just put on your shoes and walk out the front door. I bet you will go then. The short term goal he said was to put your shoes on. 

    The value of short-term goal setting for creative and productive output should not be underestimated. Short term goals break a task into smaller, more manageable parts. What at first seems unfeasible becomes feasible when incremental goals are set. They can be set daily or weekly. The best results I see come from a daily goal setting exercise. One of the other benefits in setting short term goals is awareness of the task. This helps to give the planner priority in terms of mind space and, subsequently, actions occur.

    Short term goals can also build experience and overcome procrastination by enabling the planner to actually do a small part of the goal rather than not knowing where to start within the bigger picture. Taking a small step as part of a short term goal will bring the reality of achieving long term goals closer.


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