You’ve set performance goals this year, and you’re like a freight train on a track…nothing will hold you back from reaching them! But have you set an action plan to help you achieve those goals?
The most important part of sticking with your commitment is planning for how you are going to reach it. Keep yourself motivated by breaking your ultimate goal into achievable bites that will carry you across the finish line.
1 – Be Realistic in Your Goals
Setting realistic goals means creating milestones that are not too simple but not too difficult. They should be challenging but not unrealistic. If you set too low a goal, it won’t challenge you. Therefore, you will be tempted to put off the work you need to do because you know your goal will be a breeze to reach. While it’s awesome you can achieve that milestone, why put it off? However, if you set too lofty a goal, you risk becoming unmotivated as you face a challenge that’s overwhelming or practically unreachable. Striking the right balance is vital.
Imagine that you play basketball and have a free throw percentage of 50%. Clearly, you know there’s a lot of room for improvement. Setting a goal of reaching 55% is not much of a challenge. On the other hand, setting a target of 90% is probably unachievable, at least to begin with. A happy medium that pushes your capabilities without dooming you to failure could be a goal of improving to the point of hitting 70% of your free throws. That’s a prime example of how you set realistic goals.
2 – Make Performance Goals Measurable
Ensure that you can measure your performance. Otherwise, you have no means to quantify or qualify whether you reach your performance goals or not. If you play baseball, your goal should not be “I want to hit the ball more.” Who doesn’t? Instead, it should be “I plan to improve my batting average” (or whatever skill you are working on). This second statement is measurable and indisputable because you can track and chart improvement in your batting average.
3 – Set Specific Goals
Let’s take our goal setting one step further. Break down your goal into specific actions that you can take to make the improvement that you need to up your game. This serves as a road map guiding you along the course of growth. For example, a marathon runner might plan to improve their endurance. However, “I will do my best to improve my ability run longer races” is too vague.
That runner must commit to a goal that’s a standard measure to help them increase their stamina. A more specific milestone could be “I will increase my endurance by adding 15 minutes to each aerobic workout.” This gives that runner a specific action that will help them enter those longer races…and win!
4 – Create a Support Network
Make it known to those nearest to you that you have set goals. Gaining their support will enable them to support your efforts. Coaches, family members, and your partner can keep only help you on this journey if they know about it!
5 – Set Time Limits
By nature, human beings procrastinate. Thwart the procrastination behavior by setting time limits. Planning specific dates by which you accomplish certain tasks will keep your train on the tracks. For ultimate success, plan out a mix of short-term goals combined with long-term goals. Consider the short-term goals as “baby steps” that help set you up for long-term success. For example, our marathon runner from a previous example might plan to add to their goal of “adding 15 minutes of aerobic workout time” a qualifying period of “over the next four weeks.”
After that one monthly goal is reached, they can reassess and set a new monthly goal to continue to take actions that will increase their overall performance. That updated milestone could be adding strength training or managing their weight, whatever is needed at that time. This builds in flexibility and keeps the process exciting and challenging.
While their long-term goal could be “by the end of 2019,” it leaves them subject to failure due to putting off taking the measures necessary to accomplish it. But when looking at a calendar, setting shorter challenges one month at a time will keep them on the path of achieving that long-term goal that seems so far away at the moment.
6 – Nourish Your Body While Challenging Your Mind and Soul
While all that goal setting challenges your mind and feeds your athletic soul, don’t also forget to nourish your body while you’re increasing your training. An athlete needs every competitive advantage to stay on top of their game. Overlooking nutrition is an enormous mistake; it’s a shortcut that you cannot afford to take. Remember to treat your body to a diet that should always include the following:
Lean protein, primarily from fish and white meats. A variety of vegetables to deliver fiber, vitamins, and mineral. Strive for three to five different colors on your plate to keep your body healthy. Enough water to offset fluid loss during training. Water is essential to muscle and brain health and can aid in giving you the edge you need to stay on top.
Safe and legal nutritional supplements like PurAthlete. These formulas complement (not replace) your diet to help your body repair after workouts, give you extra endurance when you need it the most, and allow powerful bursts of energy during competition.
You’ve started out the year by setting performance goals you plan to achieve. You feel confident that nothing’s going to stop you. Keeping that positive mindset strong throughout the year and never waver from your commitment is crucial so you can accomplish all those dreams.
Setting performance goals will help guide you and keep you on track throughout the year. Take the time to take these measures, and you’ll be certain to succeed.