Goal-setting for Skiing happiness

Just like everything else in life skiing opens up endless opportunities for self-denigration, and disappointment with oneself. So we need to take positive action to counter that. And it is not that difficult when you know how.


One of the best tools to use is effective goal-setting. Effective goal-setting is not as simple as you may think, but again, it is not especially difficult in principle. Getting it right will enhance your happiness, as well as furthering your progress.

I’ve written related articles before – Skiing and yoghurt

There are others on the blog. But something came up recently in conversation with a very good, and unjustifiably disappointed amateur guitarist I was talking to.

During that conversation I was reminded of something I had noticed while watching “The Dragon’s Den” on the telly. One of the venture capitalists on the panel, is introducted every week with the announcement that he sold his firm for £120 Million. The implication is that therefore he is a very wise man, who knows, or at least knew, what he was doing. I’m not so sure, even though he is rich.

Having spoken to one or two folk about him, I find that a natural assumption is that when he first started his firm, somehow or other he had this vision of selling it and what is more, selling it for £120 Million. I doubt this too.

I ended up with a successful manufacturing company myself – second largest in its field and market leader in Europe. What was my initial “goal”? Rather prosaic – I just hoped to knock £1000 off my mortgage with a bit of luck. The rest was just hanging in there and making adjustments day to day as events rolled out. Nothing very clever. I certainly did not have a vision to be market leader in Europe. Even if I had contemplated that, I would not have believed it possible. Especially since I knew absolutely nothing about the business I had started!

It could be that Usain Bolt had a dream of being world champion. Perhaps. One day. But that would never have got him out of bed on a wet Monday morning to do practice starts for three hours. He needed short range goals to achieve long term plans or dreams. Click here for a super clear explanation and note particularly paragraph 5 Effective goal setting


As you will see from the link, there is a clear and clearly proven “design specification” for creating goals that help you achieve what you want to achieve.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. There are small variations in the words described by this mnemonic but the intent is always the same. Keep it simple, and keep it “in shooting distance”. Goals are not targets. This is a common misconception. Companies and employers typically set targets. Idiots in government set targets. Targets often get achieved, mostly through “fiddles”.

Goals are different and goal setting is a technique worth learning. If your goals are set too high, and impossibly demanding, all that will happen is that you will fail. This will make you miserable. That will demotivate, and that will set up a vicious circle.

So set goals that are a bit of a stretch, but which you can achieve if you persist for a while with your attempts. If you find you cannot, then change the goal! It is not cast in stone. It is of no use to you if it does not help you. If it discourages you – ditch it! You have it in order to help you move on, and in so doing to be happier.

There is a little more related content here “Howtching”

One further issue that I have made reference to elsewhere is to not only keep it simple, but with reference to your goal-setting, and your practice towards your goal, but to have only one at a time. If you set off down a bit of slope and you have two goals in mind, you will likely achieve neither of them. If you have two, then pick one and work on it. Then swap over.

When you stop lower down to give your short run some consideration, never ever relate what you just did, in any way to the goal you were not working on ! You would sack me as your coach if I did that, and with good reason; so don’t let you do it to yourself.

I hope you can see that when you get your goal-setting right, you will enjoy the challenge of attempting it, and take huge pleasure in its achievement. There is no reason to be despondent – if all you get is falling short of your goal, change the goal. One or two more intermediate steps will get you there. There is no rush.

By all means, if you have any questions about goal-setting, then just email me, or subscribe to the blog and post a comment.

I wish you good progress.


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