With the start of the new year, are you faced with what you perceive as an “impossible goal?” Below are some strategies from the National Strength and Conditioning Association to help you confront and overcome both physical and mental hurdles to achieving your goals.

  • Focus on the process. Every training program has a plan. Embedded in this plan is a process or many processes. It is important to get your thoughts away from the outcome and place your mental energy on what you need to do to accomplish the task. Focus on what you control, which is your performance, not the end result. This means developing the appropriate plan to achieve your goal.
  • Do it, then do it. You read it right—do it, then do it. This means:
    • Mentally perform and succeed. See, feel, mentally experience successfully performing and accomplishing your goal.
    • Physically perform the skill just as you have in your imagination. This includes identifying weak points, then following your plan to eliminate them.
  • Give yourself reasons to believe. Don’t accept your doubts, instead, battle against them. Convince yourself with “the facts” as to why you should be and will be successful. Identify the reasons you will be successful and use them to combat the lingering doubts. These reasons can come from the good things you have done in training and past competitions, positive comments from coaches or teammates, or your work ethic. Focus on optimizing your training to build confidence in all your abilities.
  • Try, try again. How you react to previous failures is going to influence future attempts at similar challenges. Stop telling yourself, “I’ll never be able to do this.” Start analyzing what you need to do differently and what you need to work on to improve your performance. Learn the lessons from your failures and apply them to future endeavors when you try and try again.
  • When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Enough said.