ow did the language “New Year’s Resolution” come about anyway?
The origin of making New Year’s resolutions rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favour in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt [source: History].
Over the years, people start to realise that the problem isn’t with coming up with one, but how to make it stick.
Hence it’s clear why people start to come up with goals, big or small. Goals are where we want to go, then we make plans, where plans are ways to get to our goals.
In my opinion, goals work better because you can set a super audacious goal to be achieved by the end of 2016, and then you work backwards with micro goals to be achieved, monthly, weekly and daily.
How to Reach Your Goals This Year (2016)
Here’s what you should do to get started (team sports: you can do this as a team):
- Set your dream goal
- Imagine what it takes to get you there
- Write down your goal and the reason for this goal
Be mindful that it does not matter if you reach your goals at the end of the day. Remember that you can never control the outcome, only the efforts you put into your training.
I know you can win, I know you want to win, but when you prepare for your game, it’s not about the outcome. It’s about the reason for your outcome. So you must complete the 3 steps above before moving on.
It doesn’t mean following the 3 steps will guarantee you the outcome you want, nor do they make things easier for you. But they are necessary steps to help lead you there with a clearer picture and more enjoyment in your sport. Also, for many successful athletes this is the secret sauce to how they manage their nervousness and full-on pressure when the “moment” arrives.
The cause of failure is not lack of skills but rather lack of awareness and inability to make practice a regular habit. In other words, the root of the problem lies in the mind.
The key to be successful in whatever you are doing in any sport you love is preparation, and 90% of is dependent on our mind-set.
You may have already known this for a long time, but many of us fail to stay on track because of many distractions like vanity, social approval, money, fame or just following the wrong crowd with strayed values.
At the same time, many of us think that only by training physically hard to hurt our muscles is all it takes. Seriously, if solely focussing on your physical aspect can bring you where you want to go, that is too easy for many athletes. Many of us ignore the magic of a simple action called “writing”.
David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech University, has found that individuals who write down their goals will have nine times the success of those who don’t put their goals on paper. Yet Dr. Kohl’s research suggests that only 20 percent of our population has goals and less than 10 percent take the time to write their goals down. So why is it that so few of us take the time to develop and make note of clear and concise goals? After researching this question for 10 years, I have come to the conclusion that the reason is, quite simply, we are lazy. — Jason Selk from Executive Toughness
I will touch on getting the right mind-set for success very regularly, and I will take you by the hand and guide you step-by-step all the way for the whole of 2016 not only to help you find fulfilment and meaning in your sport but also in your life.
So how do you really prepare to reach your goals?
Grab a pen and paper or your journal right now.
Begin by first asking yourself these questions:
- Is your goal specific?
- Is your goal realistic?
- Is your goal given a time frame?
Don’t cheat, make sure you are able to answer a resounding “yes” to the first 3 questions with your reasons written down before moving on to the next step.
Ask yourself the next 3 questions:
- Is your goal measurable?
- Is your goal positive?
- Is your goal inspiring?
Same as the above. All your answers have to be a “yes”. What you need to write down are the “whys” to saying “yes”.
Make sure STEP 1 and STEP 2 do not contradict each other.
For example, from STEP 2, if your goal is indeed inspiring, like you want to be a World Champion by 1st June 2016 to tell the world that it’s possible. You need to head back to STEP 1 and ask yourself, is it a reachable goal by the date 1st June 2016?
From there, you have to evaluate your chances. Ask yourself, how did you fare in the previous World Championship? How close were you to being the World Champion in the previous competition? Would it take another year to bring you closer to your goal, or would you need another 2 years? Are you the only one aiming to be the world’s best or is there someone else vying for it too? If you don’t know, you need to find out and do it fast.
Write all these down.
Next, ask yourself what exactly would it take for you to be a World Champion by 1st June 2016? Don’t predict. Do a calculated forecast. You may want to use an Excel sheet or some app to do this, whatever it takes, just do it.
Let me give you an example. Research shows that to be able to run faster by distance, the lighter you are the better. This means many of us may need to trim our weight to the optimum weight. Ask yourself, what is this optimum weight? 60KG? 50KG? Be specific, write it down with a timeline of when you want to achieve that weight. That’s your micro goal.
Next, how do you get to this weight? Run 4 times a week, 5KM every time? What is your diet plan? No more MacDonald’s? More oats and fruits? Well, you get the point.
You may have to control your diet, you may have to hit the gym almost everyday, you may have to start running every 2 days starting from today without slacking, or you may have to start visualising your training processes daily for at least 5 minutes a day.
As I’ve mentioned, whatever it takes, it has to be so detailed till it hurts!
For team sports, you may do this individually and as a team to align your values and goals.
Nobody can predict the future, and I bet you can’t too. But I am so confident that you can build yourself to be better than you are today every other day for the rest of 2016, whatever your goal may be.
With that, as we begin our exciting journey together this new year, remember to do what’s possible, play fully and live mindfully.