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Home >> TopTips 2020/21 >> TopTip2021 #81 - Smart Goal Setting - by Lynn Billowes, GBR
11/01/2021 19:21:00

Peter Barton
Posts: 3092
TopTip2021 #81 - Smart Goal Setting - by Lynn Billowes, GBR

Lynn Billowes is well known to the RS Aero Class as RS Sailing's Marketing Manager who has provided the RS Aero Class with excellent support at our largest events with her cool videos, photos and feather flag artistry. Lynn describes herself as an incessant goal setter and race coach and here she runs through a way to prepare for the new season...

Smart Goal Setting 
It’s the start of 2021 and you’re itching to get back into your RS and hit the water.

You’re ready to take your sailing to the next level, whether that’s finally nailing your roll tacks or getting those mid line starts slick in a breeze. January is the cliché time to set new goals, why not include your passion of sailing in that? Goal setting is really rewarding but we need to be SMART about it.

What is SMART? Smart is an acronym which breaks down the 5 basic steps for setting tangible goals. It’s a great way to get you started if goal setting is new to you!

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time bound

Make sure your goal is specific enough to mean you’re really working on one element of a skill. If your goal is to get better at roll tacks, consider which part of the tack regularly catches you out, is it the beginning, middle or exit

How are you going to measure if you’ve been successful or not at achieving your goal? Whether that’s working towards 8 times out of 10 you will get a nice acceleration out of a tack or whether the end of your boom kisses the water every time you roll the boat. Make sure there’s something visual or quantifiable that allows you to know if you’re nailed it or not.

There’s nothing more demotivating than a goal you just can’t achieve. Consider your current racing or boat handling abilities, then set a goal that challenges you but isn’t impossible. You can always set a new one when you smash your goal!

Beautiful downwind kite work is an art but it’s not all that relevant to an RS Aero. Consider the class you’re racing and the types of sailing/racing you want to tackle this summer. Also consider the conditions you’re sailing in, there’s no point working on strap-to-strap tacks in 3knots of breeze. Ultimately keep thinking – how is this going to develop my sailing?

Time bound
Goals need to be time bound. When will you achieve this by? How many sessions on the water are you going to work on this specific goal? If you’re not challenged by meeting a goal by a certain time, you’ll lose motivation.

So you’ve worked hard at your goal and you’ve either hit it or missed it. You’ll know that because you made it measurable – right?

Here are your takeaway questions…
- How did I hit my goal? 
- How can I develop this skill further 
- What can I work on next?

- What stopped me from hitting my goal? 
- How can I adjust my goal using SMART to make it more attainable next time?

Answer those and repeat the SMART process. Happy Goal Setting and lets look forward to an excellent 2021 on the water! '

Original Post; https://www.rssailing.com/goal-setting/

RS Aero TopTip 2020/21 series; https://www.rsaerosailing.org/index.asp?p=forum&fid=13

Check out Lynn's super cool Event Movies here; Garda Europeans 2019, Melbourne Worlds 2019/20, Eastbourne UK Nationals 2020

Photo - Lynn nails a port tack flyer at the RS Aero UK Inland Champs in 2018.


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