1 Thing In Goal Setting That Separates The Best From The Rest

Anton Ipsen after the Men's 100 Freestyle.
Photo Courtesy: Kenneth Martin/NC State Athletics

By Wayne Goldsmith

Goal setting – is it important? Absolutely. Does it work? No. Not really. Not if you do it the way most people do. But, what is the 1 Thing In Goal Setting That Separates The Best From The Rest?

There’s 1 thing in goal setting that separates the best from the rest….Moment Goals.

Goals, Goals, Goals.

People talk about short-term goals, medium-term goals, long-term goals, life goals, financial goals….seems like everyone’s got goals. Some people even set goals about setting goals.

In swimming, goal setting has typically been used to give a swimmer a focus or a target to work towards like competing in a major competition, swimming a PR etc.

For example, a swimmer may set goals in the traditional sense:

  • My long-term goal is to represent the USA at the Olympic Games.
  • My medium term goal is to win the state championships next year.
  • My short-term goal is to improve my breaststroke this season and improve my PR by 3 seconds over 200 metres.

However, as admirable and as inspiring these goals may be, just setting the goals doesn’t mean the swimmer will achieve them. Neither does telling other people about them and writing the goals down on paper doesn’t really help either.

That’s where Moment Goals come in.

A Moment Goal is a goal that a swimmer sets right NOW. It is an immediately achievable goal: a goal to be completed in this training session, on this lap, in this single stroke.

Rikke Moeller Pedersen Denmark DEN 200 Breaststroke Women FInal Gold Medal 32nd LEN European Championships Berlin, Germany 2014 Aug.13 th - Aug. 24 th Day10 - Aug. 22 Photo A.Masini/Deepbluemedia/Inside

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini

So how do Moment Goals work?

It all comes down to one word: “THIS”.

By concentrating on this kick, this lap, this stroke, this finish, this turn, swimmers learn to focus on the things that matter right now. Swimming becomes all about this moment – and in this moment “I choose to be the best I can be”.

For example:

  • My goal is to explode in and out of THIS breaststroke turn;
  • My goal is to drive my legs in THIS breaststroke kick with real power;
  • My goal is to finish powerfully on the wall at the end of THIS 100 metre repeat.

The cumulative effect of THIS – means that you can achieve your goals – no matter what they may be.

Moment Goals bring tomorrow into today.

They help turns dreams into reality because you can see them, experience them and do them right now.

They are more than wishes, more than thoughts, more than words…they are the actions you make and the decisions you take right now.

Most importantly, you can choose to achieve your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals by making the right decisions in every moment of your workout.

Remember – Don’t Count the Laps…Make Every Lap (and Every Moment) Count.

Wayne Goldsmith

*Video courtesy of Australian Triathlon and Multisport Magazine. For everything swim, bike, run go to www.triathlonmag.com.au


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Camille Cono
9 years ago

Great picture of Anton Ipsen of North Carolina State University, Wolfpack.
Ben Cono

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