Achieving your goals can be a lot easier if you have a strong, calculated method of setting them.
Get Mental : Erika Carlson
As athletes, I know you hear about goals — A LOT. I know you set them, but the truth is, most athletes fail to accomplish their goals consistently. Why? Three reasons:
1) They aren’t disciplined enough to be consistent. 2) Most athletes don’t have weekly (short-term) training and game-performance goals. 3) They don’t have a system to help them manage their goals throughout the year.
Weekly goals provide you with the more immediate tasks and strategies that you need to accomplish in order to stay on track throughout the year.
2014 GOAL PLAN: If you haven’t already, start by writing out your big goals for 2014. Next, create short-term, weekly goals by doing the following:
>> TRACK: Write everything down that you’re already doing. Give yourself credit! Chances are you are already doing more than you think you are (practice, private training, runs, gym workouts, physical therapy, mental training, etc.)
>> ACCOUNTABLE: Find someone on your team to help keep you accountable to your goals. Encourage them to check-in with you several times per week and provide rewards (encouragement) or punishment (extra running, doing their laundry for the week, pay them money) if you don’t accomplish your goals. You do the same for them.
>> REALISTIC: As a student athlete, you have a lot on your plate. It’s imperative that you set yourself up to succeed. Prioritize your commitments and make a plan that is doable. For example, on light homework days, hit the gym. Use one of your weekend days to get to the gym and get a run in. On your (physical) day off, complete extra homework to get ahead. This is all very good practice for being a collegiate student/athlete.
>> REFLECT: It’s important to take the time every Sunday to thoroughly reflect on your week. What did you do well? What needs improvement? What needs to be prioritized for this week coming up? Be thoughtful ahead of time; this will increase your commitment and discipline for the week ahead.
>> RECORD: The final step is to record your goals for the upcoming week. Recording (rather than just thinking about) your goals matters. It’s too easy just to change course on your goals mid-week when the going gets tough. Recording them on Sunday, forces you to stay disciplined and accountable — or pay the price to your partner!
Like any new skill, setting and accomplishing goals every week takes practice. It will feel like a lot of work at first. Finding a system to record, reflect and reset your goals every week is key. Then it’s simply a matter of creating the habit, or as Nike says, “Just do it” every week.
Erika Carlson is a certified mental trainer and owner of Excellence in Sports Performance in Pleasanton.
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