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Chapter 3: The importance of setting goals.

By: Sentras @ 17:23 (EDT) / 1460 / Comment ( 1 )

3. Setting goals.
Around 80% of the population doesn’t have clear goals for themselves. This means only around 20% have goals for themselves! And only 5-6% writes their goals down. Would it even surprise you that only 2-3% reviews their goals? Just by writing them down, it is 10 times more likely that you achieve them!


In this chapter I’ll go over why setting goals is important and what advantages it can give you in poker & life. I’ll be covering it in three different topics, as poker requires you to adapt the average goal setting a little, as there is an element of luck involved.

With this chapter I’ll do my best to persuade you to write down your own life goals and poker goals. Make you review them daily and work as hard as you can on realizing them! To end this chapter I’ll be finishing it with daily goal setting or daily planning. Will you be capable of completing the challenges in this chapter? I’m sure you can if YOU want to.

“Setting goals is easy, writing your goals down is easier and reviewing them is merely a small discipline. All this makes you achieve your goals with relative ease!” - Sentras

Challenge 5: Make notes of what you deem important. “Don’t trust your memory, write it down.” – Earl Shove. Write them on a piece of paper and not on your computer. You’ll retain a lot more this way (30-40%). I encourage you to even send me a message with what you deemed valuable, this way I also know you completed this challenge. (After you’ve done this, I encourage you to keep doing it for future chapters or even previous chapters.)

3.1. Setting goals for yourself.
Did you ever wonder why every serious company sets goals: long-term goals, short-term goals and some also make daily goals. The reason is rather obvious for a company. They want to know what and when they want to realize something. They want to know where they want to go, how much effort they have to put in certain aspects and so on. The point is clear, by setting goals, they know in what direction they want to go.

So what is the difference between you and a company? It might be handy to ask yourself this. “Should I set goals for myself?” If you are committed in achieving my challenges, you are already certain you’ll set goals for yourself. In fact every reader should have a clear idea already, whether you want to make goals or not.

To start writing down goals, you first need to find out what goals you want to accomplish. The best way to do this is to think: “What do I want in the next 10 years.” Write down everything you can possible imagine. This can be entertaining goals, spiritual goals, study goals, big poker goals, vacations, locations, personality, family, … Be original and write down as many as you possibly can find. Make sure you repeat this tomorrow or later on, as you’ll surely find more goals you want to achieve.

You’re now halfway on getting started. Now you only have to write your goals in the correct way with a date and you are ready to kick off in full gear towards success! There are three key points which you need to keep in mind when you write down a goal on paper.
1) Write a goal in the present tense. For example: I am a pokerprofessional by the 6th of March 2018.
2) Write your goals down in a positive way.
3) Always make it personal. “I” is the key word.

So your goals should nearly always start with I, then a verb and ends with ‘by and a date’. To make this all more clearly I will add in my next blog quickly my full goals list and discipline list. You may copy its structure; this might save you a lot of time or help you with ideas.

To finish this section of writing down your own goals, review them quickly with an eye on this quote from Jim Rohn. “Make the kind of goals that make something of you to achieve them.”

For example you might set yourself a goal to reach 1million dollars. This requires you to change your mentality about money and save, invest and work hard. To become a millionaire, you’ll change in order to achieve it.

Hopefully you have at least 10 goals for this year, together we will start achieving at least 90% of them! The golden rule: make sure you plan to work on at least one goal every day. Don’t forget to review your goals daily. Once in the morning to freshen your mind of them and once in the evening to reflect on how you worked towards them and what you would do differently next time. (This part is mainly covered in 3.3.)

Challenge 6: Do the exercise described above to make your goals. Also review my full goals and disciplines page, which might help you with making it and writing it down.

3.2. Setting goals in poker.
In poker there is a small difference in setting goals. The main rules from above will still apply. However you have to keep in mind that on a short time base there is luck involved in poker.

Therefor you may never make result oriented goals on weekly or monthly bases. I feel like you can make result based goals on longer lapses of time. For example 6months or a year, if you have put in enough volume!

Mostly becoming poker requires more disciplines than real goals. Mainly your goals will be disciplines. For example: I review my handhistory every Friday. The most important part to know is what goals/disciplines you need to make to become a better poker player.

You’ll have to cover at least these topics: Handreviews (your own and others), books, playing sessions, forum communities, metagame discussions in a group, analyzing your own play for improvement, …

Think of how you will tackle this puzzle and make sure you tackle the most important things first and not the most fun. For inspiration I encourage you to go and look in the challenge threads! Many people have started their yearly goals and discipline threads there. Take a look through them.

3.3. Daily goal setting.
Wouldn’t you love it that you can look back on every day happily? That you have the feeling you accomplished a lot? The feeling that you can’t wait for tomorrow to start. Which will get you to wake up early every morning for another productive day?

Daily goal setting will have this possibility! First let me try to explain what I mean with ‘Daily goal setting’. This means that you plan your day before it starts. In the evening, before you go to bed, you will write down your day planning for tomorrow. This is very easy as it only takes 1minute, and by planning your day you will win at least 10 times every amount back by planning.

During that night your mind will unconsciously take you through your upcoming day and will sometimes think on how you can do certain things more productively. It will get you up early in the morning to start working on your plans.

Here is my example of a standard day:
5h15: Wake up and read my disciplines & goals. (During the whole day I imply my FOTD and my other disciplines.)

5h30 – 6h30: Golden hour. (Read an hour in a book.)

7h00: Start working (in a store atm.) I always start at least five minutes early!

(Normally in between these 5 hours of work, my colleges get a break of 15 minutes, I refuse to take this, as I am a hard worker and don’t need it, breaks would only slow me down and want me to stop working. On a positive note, I still get paid for those 15minutes I don’t take a break.)

12h00-13h00: Have my midday break where I eat and rego over my notes I made in my Golden hour and others.

12h50: Start working again.

17h00: Go home, I don’t even bother working 10 minutes longer. (On average I work 40 minutes more than my colleges, who get the same hours as me. And frankly my day flies by because of this.)

18h00 I start with my spair time work. Reading book, listening to sminares, realizing other goals, writing pokerblogs. Seeing friends and so on.

23h00 or 00h30: I go to sleep to get my 6h00 or 4h30 of sleep. You might say Wow Sentras aren’t you tired? The discipline of my Golden hour makes my brain active and good in the morning, which makes me very happy and awake for the whole day.


Before falling asleep I go over my goals and disciplines again and then I ask myself these questions: What did I do good today? What am I proud of? If I could do today over again, what would I do differently?

This only makes think positive about myself and enforces myself to do better and good. Think about it. Do you like to be condemned in your life? No you get motivated by positive thoughts and appreciations of others, so why don’t apply that on yourself as well?

Challenge 7: Start planning every day in advance before you go asleep. Write them down and ask yourself the questions above before you go off to bed. Do this for a month and then ask yourself this one question: Did this daily goal setting help me or not?

If you have any more thoughts, additions or comments to share, please do not hesitate to contact me or indeed leave a comment. I’m always replying to every question and I’ll help you to my best knowledge and knowhow.

PS: Don’t forget to check out my Goals and disciplines in my next blog, which you can find here.

PS2: I realize this subject doesn’t cover a lot of poker, however it is entirely transferable into poker and in my eyes essential.

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