If you have your goals for the year written and envisioned for where you want to be, who you want in your circle, and what you want to accomplish, then it becomes easier to find the point of greatest leverage: Right now.
What can you do right now to align with and move towards your vision?
The answer to this is simply: the process of improvement. I use the word, simply, because it is important to keep it simple. So:
- Keep your goals with you
- Look at them regularly—daily or more if you need to
- Decide what to do today
- Make the connection between the plan and the process
- During practice reps, focus on the process—the how of what you are working on
At the end of the day, it is extremely important to enlist the power of reflection. Taking the time to consider what you have given your time to reinforces that the process has been meaningful. You are sending important messages to the meaning centers of the brain when you take the time to reflect on what matters. This strengthens connections (mind and muscle memory) and stokes motivation.
Following practice or competitions, a simple method of accountability, as well as an important way to keep track of trends, is the following:
- Make two columns in your journal or in your progress notebook
- Label one column: Worked
- Label the second Column: Needs Work
- Reflect back on your goals
You will find that you will begin to look at the parts of practice (or competition) differently and be able to integrate these aspects into the bigger picture. Under Worked, consider what improved, what felt in synch, solid, and repeatable. Under Needs Work, track what did not meet expectations, felt less than steady, or what you need to continue to give attention to. From this simple system, you can stay aligned and on target, and plan your next practice session.
If you would like more structure to take your mental approach to the next level, consider picking up a copy of my new sports psychology workbook: Above the Field of Play. Or to learn about other sports psychology services, visit my website at DrJohnPanepinto.com.
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