I have come across some examples recently of the real importance of focus and goal setting within different aspects of sport and life and the very real impact focus can have on your chances of success and winning.  

The examples that spring to mind are the world record for the hour by Sir Bradley Wiggins (what an amazing feat and gripping to watch, despite it being essentially just a man cycling around a track for a hour). Sir Brad Wiggins, during his interview for Sky during the coverage emphasised the strategy of breaking down the record attempt into distinct and separate stages. Each one of the stages was distinct and had a solely specific focus.

Another example from cycling is when Chris Froome became the first British rider to win the Tour de France twice at the end of July.  Sky TV programme called Chris Froome: Return to Yellow.  This programme talked about Chris Froome's mental skills and qualities are perfectly suited to be one of the top riders in the tour. The programme also highlighted mental toughness and in particular focus and goal setting as key strengths of Chris Froome.  The strategy employed by Chris Froome was very similar to the strategy employed by Sir Brad Wiggins doing his world record. Froome essentially broke the Tour down into three separate and distinct sections of stages; again each stage had a very specific focus.

Finally, I have just finished reading a book titled Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch. At the end of each chapter the author highlights that to be successful you need to have a very specific focus on what your final destination is.  At the end of each chapter this point is his first strategy he emphasizes. 

The need for a very specific focus on a specific target or goal is exactly the same in anything that you do whether in sport business or in life.  You need to have very specific focus and breakdown long term destinations into goals into smaller manageable sections.

So, set a long-term goal and work back from there breaking it up into smaller manageable sections, like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. Each one of the sections need a specific focus, ideally just one. With one specific focus you will work towards achieving this and nothing else. Therefore the more specific you can make this focus the better. It will drive you forward and allow you to achieve the targets you set. Achieving smaller targets will then allow you to achieve your longer term target as we saw in Chris Froome by winning the Tour de France. This long-term target was identified 13 months before the tour actually started.