We're into 2021 now and it's very common to make goals that start at the beginning of the year. BUT! So many of these goals don't get completed because we lose motivation, can't find time or simply don't plan them well enough.
We'll use a common, broad example of "being a better gamer". It's an end goal, but you need to set ones that put you on the right path for the highest chance of it happening. How do we do that?
The SMART method is our most used way to stay on top of our goals!
S - SPECIFIC
What does "being a better gamer" look like? It's a little too broad because it covers a lot of areas that are involved with gaming. What you need to do with your goal is to become more focused on the goal, probably on a particular area that you want to achieve or improve in.
An example can be in relation to first-person shooters is to become a more efficient, clinical shooter. In first-person shooters there are a range of areas that someone can excel at, so this narrows it down to an area of the gaming that you can dial into.
M - MEASURABLE
Now that you have become specific with becoming a more efficient, clinical shooter, you need to be able to track progress and improvement with a measurement. We work better with tangible statistics and data that can justify changes in performance. Set a benchmark for an area and work with it, for FPS this can mean the Kill:Death Ratio (KDR). Spend a session working out your average KDR, note it down and make that the baseline for future referencing.
A - ACHIEVABLE
There is no point setting goals if you make it too easy or too hard. Too easy slows down the progress you could be taking with your goals, while making it too hard is the fastest way to lose motivation and understanding of taking steps to get to the top!
It's critical that you make the goal achievable without being TOO easy. Make it a challenge that can be conquered. If you measured your starting KDR to be 0.6:1, all things considered your next goal should be to achieve a 1:1 KDR, an improvement of 0.4. Improve to 0.75 is a little too easy, while looking at 2:1 KDR would be too ambitious to make this a specific, measurable goal.
R - RELEVANT
There is no point creating a goal that doesn't revolve around your overall objective. We picked "become a more clinical, efficient shooter" because it makes sense to improve this part of your skills to become a better gamer. What wouldn't be relevant would be setting the goal of upgrading your monitor. Although it could have an impact on your gaming experience, it doesn't make you a better gamer, per se.
T - TIME-BOUND
There is no point in setting goals if you don't put a timeframe on it. Time is a big parameter because it forces you to take action and plan how it should all pan out, giving yourself time to recover from setbacks or unexpected events. No deadline means you won't push yourself to make it happen!
What it means for this goal, is that we should look to become a more clinical and efficient shooter within six months of setting this goal.
Once you have set your SMART goal, it then gives you direction and puts you in a good position to take action, move forward towards achieving it with a proper objective! Try this out for yourself, in all aspects of life, from gaming through to getting healthy or spending time with friends and family, SMART is the way to go.