Christian Swann podcast title

114: Christian Swann on using goals effectively

Happy New Year!

This week’s guest is Christian Swann. Christian is an associate professor at Southern Cross University and specialises in research around goal setting and mental health.

In Christian’s early research he noticed an interesting observation. While working with elite golfers he asked them what sort of goals they set for themselves. To his surprise the types of goals they set didn’t conform with the typical, off-the-shelf literature, such as outcome specific goals. This led him to delve a lot deeper into the area and astutely began to question many of the premises upon which goals setting methods are based, finding in many instances, that frameworks such as SMART goals do not comply with the basics of goal setting theory. Who knew? Well, probably a lot of us who have tried to use them?

This is what we get into in this discussion, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of different ways of setting goals, weighing up process goals, outcome goals and performance goals. We discuss the use of open goals and ‘do your best’ goals and how to apply goals whether you are a learner or expert.

If you’re setting goals for yourself right now or setting them for others – this discussion is well worth your attention.


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Hi, I’m Steve Ingham Sports and Performance Scientist co-founder at Supporting Champions. I have the privilege of supporting over 1000 athletes of which over 200 have gone on to win World or Olympic medals. For the last 25 years I’ve been fascinated by, researched and applied innovative ideas to help people succeed and now I want to share those performance strategies with you. I help aspiring and professional Performance Science and Support Staff improve their skills, experience and mindset for working with sports performers through a range of online courses and an exclusive community hub

If you’re working in sports performance or business and want to get support to develop your team and systems – take a look at what I offer here –

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