HARD Goals, Not SMART Goals, may be the key to development, according to a Forbes article. Leadership IQ’s founder Mark Murphy says HARD goals are “heartfelt, animated, required and difficult.” Goals should push you to step out of your comfort zone to be able to perform better and achieve more.

Goals have to be challenging, but they also need to be attainable. Setting difficult, but realistic goals are one of the principles of effective goal-setting, says University of Washington sports psychologist Frank Smoll, Ph.D. He further explains that “the higher the goal, the higher the performance, as long as the goal does not exceed what the athlete is capable of doing.” It is important to set goals according to the surfer’s abilities and skill level.

Equally important is rewarding yourself after achieving your goals. Mayo Clinic suggests that rewarding yourself helps sustain your long-term commitment. Both internal and external rewards like taking a break from surfing help you stay motivated.

Surfing champ Mick Fanning values the art of being able to “switch off.” Being able to switch on and off easily helps surfers relax and builds the right amount of pressure for surfing events and competitions. He learned the art of switching off by the end of 2007. Fanning felt exhausted as if he had nothing left. Taking a break recharges your energy.