Poker is no different than life itself and it is very important to set goals for yourself and keep them. By setting poker goals it can also help in maybe achieving some other life goals you may have. Remember though, a goal is meaningless if you don’t take steps to achieve them and maintain them.
A good goal must meet certain criteria to for it to be useful. A SMART goal is one that meets certain criteria.
What is a SMART Goal? SMART is an acronym where each letter stands for something.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Reachable
T – Timeline
The goal must be specific, and we will use each letter as it relates to poker. A smart goal for poker could be:
I will win $50 per day for the next year.
The goal is specific ($50), its measurable ($50) its attainable and reachable based on our level of play, and we have a timeline, both daily and for 1 year. This would be a good goal but I set goals with one more variable. My goal would be:
I will win $50 per day for the next year, or not lose more than $50 per day.
The second half of that goal is just as important as the first. Poker is a fluctuating game, and some days it may just not be your day, so you have to set limits on the amount you are willing to lose. You do not want to give away a weeks worth of work because of one bad day.
When you hit your goal it is very important to stick to it. You reach the $50 – quit. To many times we tell ourselves we are on fire and keep playing to only see our winnings slip away or even go in the hole.
It’s important to set a goal you are comfortable with. Don’t make the goal to high that you must play longer than you want in order to reach your goal. When your playing poker and grinding it out, mistakes become easier to make. Also don’t make the goal to small. You want rewarded for your efforts and the amount you win should mean something.
Adjusting Your Goals
When you set goals you must also adjust them from time to time based on your progress. As you consistently hit your goal, maybe then its time to increase your goal a little. Maybe you have sharpened your poker skills and are ready to move to higher limits.
If you do move to higher limits it’s suggested you increase your goal. If you move from $.25/$50 ring games to $.50/$1 ring games your goal should almost double, and the amount you are willing to risk should increase also. As the levels go up, so does the amount you are vulnerable to lose. You don’t want to set your losing goal to low that you don’t give yourself a chance to really win.
Maybe your not hitting your goal on a consistent basis and need to adjust it down. It may have been to high to achieve from the beginning. This is OK as long as you continue to make strides in hitting your goals. To set your SMART goal really look at how your playing poker and what you are comfortable with risking. Your first goal may be just to break even everyday or weekly. You can also use these goals to improve your game.
Another example of a poker goal may be, I will read one strategy article per week, or I will read one Chapter of my new poker book per day until its finished. It is also recommended to keep up to date on poker news especially when it comes to bonuses and promotions.
You can use SMART goals for anything in life, we just put a poker spin on it.