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Developing employability through sport and physical activity
Developing employability through sport and physical activity

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3 Motivation matters – setting goals and action planning

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Figure 4 Goal setting and action planning

In today’s competitive world, people need to be proactive in managing their careers. One of the most effective tools for career development is goal setting and action planning. By setting clear goals and devising well-thought-out action plans, you can pave the way for success, growth, and fulfilment in your profession.

You might remember in Session 3 you explored SMART targets in relation to developing your self-management skills. We are going to return to SMART in this section, relating it to your professional life rather than in a sporting context. Just in case you need a reminder, SMART stands for:

  • Specific: goal should be well-defined and clearly state what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable: goal should include criteria for measuring progress and success.
  • Achievable: goal should be realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant: goal should be aligned with your broader objectives, values, and aspirations.
  • Time-bound: goal should have a specific time frame or deadline for completion.

Activity 3 Creating your personal roadmap

Timing: Allow approximately 25 minutes

This activity is split into three tasks where you will be guided through setting meaningful goals and creating plans to achieve them.

  1. Reflect on your long-term aspirations and in the box below record three major goals you would like to achieve in your professional life. In doing this part of the activity, consider your passions, values and areas for growth when selecting these goals.
  2. Select one of the goals you noted and write a concise statement for achieving this goal, ensuring it aligns with the SMART criteria.
  3. Now take some time to consider the specific actions and milestones that are needed to accomplish the goal. Try to break these down into smaller, manageable steps and assign realistic timelines to each action. You might also want to consider potential obstacles and develop strategies to overcome them.
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The benefits of having a clear roadmap for achieving your goals includes motivation, focus, and productivity. We recommend that you discuss your goals with those around you – family and friends, colleagues, line manager etc. Gaining feedback on your goals and how you aim to achieve them can be an invaluable tool in the process.

There are many benefits to effective goal setting, not just in your career, but in other aspects of your life too, such as your involvement in sport! Ensure that you reflect on these semi-regularly too to establish clear direction and focus, maintain motivation, and ensure you are prioritising the right things.