It’s that time of year again.

The new year is a great time to reflect on the year that has just gone, while looking forward to making the year ahead bigger, better and even more successful than ever. In theory, this sounds great, but how many times have you set goals this time of year, only to fall short?

If you are anything like I was when I was a kid, it’s a lot. Avoid making the mistakes I did, and learn how to achieve your goals by applying the below.


Create a S.W.O.T. Analysis

Create an awareness and guidance for what goals you need to be setting by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis of yourself. This has historically been used by businesses to create awareness for business success, but can just as effectively be applied to areas of your life including sport, school, and personal development.

S.W.O.T. stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, Threats. 

Identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will help give you guidance to understanding the goals you need to create in order to take advantage of your strengths, address what may be holding you back, identify potential future opportunities and minimise risk associated with threats to your happiness and success. See an example of a S.W.O.T. Analysis below.


Create S.M.A.R.T. goals

This refers to making your goals:

Specific – be specific about what you want to accomplish, ensuring you know the who, what, when, where, which and why around each.

Measurable – make sure you are able to measure the progress and success of your goals.

Attainable – make the goal challenging enough to push yourself, but ensure the goal is still within reach.

Relevant – this one is a little more self-explanatory, but make sure you are not making goals around knitting speed if you want to be a professional athlete. Unless you’re really into knitting… In that case, go for it!

Time Bound – attach realistic yet challenging timing in which to achieve the goal.


Distinguish process & outcome goals

Process goals refer to the steps that need to be taken for your larger outcome goals.

Outcome goals are what you really want to achieve. By definition, they are a consequence of your actions, ending in an outcome. The main issue I see with a lot of youth athlete’s goals is that they only set outcome goals without thinking about the process of what needs to be done to actually achieve these outcome goals.

Instead, for each outcome goal you have, make sure you set yourself multiple specific process goals aligned to helping you reach your outcome goal.

For example:

Outcome goal: reach top 20 ranked 16U tennis players in Australia by January 2021.

Process goal: consistently train 5x per week, no takeout food.


Write goals down!

This one is probably the easiest to do, but so often missed. WRITE. DOWN. YOUR. GOALS. Make sure they are written somewhere that you will see regularly: on your phone background, next to your bed, in your sport bag, on your laptop, on a sticky note on your fridge, etc. If you don’t do this, your goals will become easily forgotten, and will lack importance, getting lost within the day-to-day. Put them somewhere you will see every day to help remind yourself and reiterate their significance.


Continuously assess

Goals are not stagnant, and you are not locked into only creating goals once a year. Throughout the year and the lifecycle of your goals, situations will change, new goals will need to be set, and previous goals will need to evolve. Take time to reflect on your goals throughout the year, assess your progress and learn from the process.

There is nothing wrong with changing the plan when required. This will only result in better outcomes for you.


I wish everyone a successful and happy new year. Please feel free to email through any questions you may have, and let me know if you need some help in setting your goals for 2020. I am always happy to help! I look forward to tracking your progress with you all as you smash your goals in 2020.


Harry Weatherstone is the founder of the Youth Athletic Development Academy and the head Strength and Conditioning Coach at St. Andrew’s Anglican College. He is an ASCA accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Management. Harry has been a sports coach for the last nine years, surrounding himself in high performance sport, athletic development and performance throughout New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and now Queensland. He has dedicated the last six years of his life to creating this movement in youth athletic development; investing countless hours into his own professional development to create the best programs possible for his students, athletes and clients.