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What Are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

One topic that we talk about a lot in betting psychology is how to set realistic goals and expectations for a sports bettor and why it is so important to avoid setting unrealistic goals and expectations.   But how do you actually figure out whether a goal is realistic or not?  How can you figure out if it is useful or distracting? 


One great system is the S.M.A.R.T. system, usually discussed in the context of entrepreneurship, business, and productivity.  S.M.A.R.T. is a handy acronym, which can be broken down as follows:








You can see how a lot of beginning punters set goals which do not fit within the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework.  Saying for example, “I want to become a millionaire from sports betting” is neither timely nor attainable within any measurable short-term period.  Deciding, “I want to get a 90% win percentage before I bet with real money” is completely unattainable.  “I want to become a great punter” is non-specific. 


“I want to win my bets” is also non-specific, as it does not touch upon how.  In that sense, it is also not relevant, because it does not actually entail something you can do.  Winning bets is an outcome of making smart choices, but your goals need to concern those choices, not just their results.


It takes practice coming up with S.M.A.R.T. goals.  It is not something you will learn how to do overnight, but a good starting point is to look over your existing goals.  Each goal needs to fit all of the S.M.A.R.T. criteria for it to qualify as a useful goal.  Here are some examples of a useful goal:


  • “I will fine-tune my golf betting strategies to take course conditions into account.”
  • “I will raise my win percentage by 2% within the next six months of testing.”
  • “I will stop over-betting this month and will focus on just one sport at a time from now on.”


All of these goals are specific and measurable.  All of them are relevant to how you actually wager.  They are attainable and timely.  Each of them can be either committed to now or achieved within a relatively finite timeframe.  None of them are vague or loosely worded or leave room for interpretation.  None of them are preposterously out of reach either—you have not for example stated that you will raise your win percentage by 20% in the next month, or that you will simply “get better” at betting on football.


You will eventually get used to setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, and it will become second-nature for you to do so.  S.M.A.R.T. goals focus you along a concrete path toward results, and results are incredibly motivating when you achieve them.  Once you begin to taste success, you will be willing to do what it takes to achieve more of it—including setting more S.M.A.R.T. goals going forward!


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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
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  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
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