How to Improve Mentally in Sports: Creating Goals
January is usually the time when people think of creating resolutions and setting goals for the year. This year feels different than years past but sometimes the turning of the calendar can offer a time to reflect and figure out where we want to go moving forward. Whether you are a New Years Resolution person or not, at some point during the year you most likely are setting goals for yourself, and trying to adjust certain behaviors that you feel you can be better at. So I thought I would take this opportunity to look at some things that are important when setting goals.
Clear goals: You want your goals to be as clear as possible. Another word might also be specific. The more clear the better. Often times I find people set goals that are too vague. The more chunked down the goal the better.
Make it manageable: With this I mean how much and how many things you are trying to change at once. Often people set too many goals or maybe too large. If you had a scale from 1-10 on your confidence to be able to accomplish what you have set out, you want your confidence to be around an 8/10. If it is not you may need to adjust your goals so that you can accomplish it. If you are setting goals that are moving you in the right direction, and challenging you then it is okay to adjust the goal. If you set a goal or goals that you end up not accomplishing than what was the point of the goal? Smaller but something you will accomplish is sometimes more important than trying to do it all.
Unambiguous: You want your goals to be easy to know if you accomplished them or not. If you have goals that have grey areas it is easy for us to either discount accomplishing a goal or thinking we did when maybe we didn't' fully. This kind of goes with point #1. Clear is good.
Process: While it is good to have some result based goals, it is important you are more focused on the process goals that will help you achieve them. You need to be focused more on the present than on something too far out. Setting a result based goal gives you an idea of where you want to end up, but you need to create the road that will help you get there through process based goals.
Becoming good at something takes time, and is a journey, so make sure you keep that in mind, and know it takes time to change habits and behaviors. This is why sometimes it is good to focus on one thing and let that new habit or goal become solid before adding something else to the mix.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification