Setting Goals in Barefooting

Dave Small and Sam Meredith

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind.

I think people underestimate the value of setting goals with regard to making rapid progress in anything they choose to do in life. Setting a series of short term goals in order to achieve your ultimate long term dream, can be used as a tool to keep you motivated and give you direction. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

It is easy to look at the great skiers like Dave Small and Keith St. Onge and forget that you can’t just become that good over night.  Like me, they must have had to work at the basics such as one foots and toeholds before they could do such seemingly impossible tricks like one foot turns and toe turns. One of the most important characteristics of goals is the level of challenge. People are often motivated by achievement, and they’ll judge a goal based on the significance of the anticipated accomplishment. When you know that what you do will be well received, there’s a natural motivation to do a good job. Rewards typically increase for more difficult goals. If you believe you’ll be well compensated or otherwise rewarded for achieving a challenging goal that will boost your enthusiasm and your drive to get it done.

When I trained for three weeks at the World Barefoot Center, my learning curve was steep and I made rapid progress– from someone who could barely stand up to quite a competent barefooter, with a decent repertoire of tricks. I think a big factor in the success of my stay at WBC was that I knew what I wanted to achieve by the end of my stay. Each day, I would sit down with the team and have a talk about what I would like to get out of the day. By setting short term targets, such as learning to get up backwards on the shoe skis, I was achieving mini successes on the way to achieving a slightly longer term goal of doing my first back toe hold by the end of my stay.

It was an incredible feeling to finish each day with a new trick or a consolidation of something that I had found difficult before. There are some golden rules when setting goals and by following these simple steps I think everyone can give themselves a better opportunity at being the best skier they can be.

SMART goal setting

S – Specific (Well defined objective)
M – Measurable (Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is)
A – Attainable (Agree on whether the goal is possible)
R – Realistic (Within you capability)
T – time-bound (Enough time to achieve the goal)

By: Sam Meredith

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