Remember New Year’s Eve? When you were meticulously pondering the choice of New Year Resolutions, promising to start going to the gym or to spend more time and effort on the sport you are most passionate about? A month into 2019 and we have already been engulfed by the monotonous daily routine. I want you to be honest with yourselves and answer: do you still keep up the Resolutions you have made? If you are holding a pint in one hand and a bag of crisps in another while reading this, wondering why isn’t your fat burning by itself, that is no problem. Yet now is the time for a change. Now is the time to pave your way to the realization of your athletic goals. If you are ready to do so, I want you to learn and most importantly incorporate in your day-to-day life the following tips, tips that will make your once distant dreams within a hand’s reach:
Change your Attitude
Success starts in your mind. The key is a positive mindset. One that is immune to criticism and one where patience and control are deeply embedded. You have to understand that every successful athlete is just as much of a normal human being as you are. The only difference is in the way they approach their goals. There is nothing you cannot actually do – it’s about how you perceive it. So, don’t let anyone’s critical words and comments hurt and doubt your abilities. Try to remove yourself from this situation, or even better, use it constructively. The same goes for any manifestation of uncertainty that might arise. As soon as you notice any symptoms of doubt, count to three, say “Stop” and forcefully picture someone or something that always makes you feel happy and hopeful.
Make a plan
With that one desired long-term goal in mind, it is now vital to come up with a plan of actions to achieve it. An hour is made up of minutes, a pound is made up of pennies, and so on. Your big dream is no exception and it requires short-term goals. Daily, weekly or monthly. You have to create a clear path to your final destination that lies through all these short-term transits. Following this tip, in addition to your skills and talent, you will gain focus. You will gain a sense of direction, which will allow your mind to focus explicitly on that one target you have. In the end, day-by-day goals can act as an effective measure of progress.
Say no to procrastination
Tip 2 helps overcome procrastination, but an additional boost of effort is necessary. To succeed in sports, you need to learn how to prioritize your goals and how to value time, the most precious resource one has. You need to learn how to say no to all the surrounding temptations. No matter how appealing another episode of your favorite TV show is, if you want to bask in the glory of your athletic achievements, you have to postpone this episode until your plan discussed above has been satisfied. Citing Roy E. Disney, “It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are”. I am sure some of you might be thinking that it is so difficult to follow your plan and meet your daily goals. Yes it is. But there is a way to trick your mind. Known as the Zeigarnik Effect, when you start a task, the brain's desire to see it through to completion takes over. So all you have to do is that first step, getting out of bed, dressing up in your sports clothes, whatever. Then, the magical trick should follow.
Visualize your goal
Whether it be losing weight to fit into your old pair of jeans or to beat Christchurch in Varsity, visualization of your desired outcome is as a significant ingredient of success as the other three. Visualization programs your brain to generate ideas and to find ways to fulfill your ambitions. It is another trick that makes you believe your goal is possible and that revives your faith once you hit a bump. But how to visualize? Picture yourself reaching that target. Attach emotions and feelings to that image. Come back to this image on a constant basis.