When you work with a Sport Psychology Consultant or Peak Performance Coach they’ll take you through each of these steps spending significant time on each one, however you can replicate the experience yourself to extremely good effect.
Step Number 1 – Set your outcome goal
Get really clear on exactly what you want to achieve. Give yourself permission to go a little crazy. Don’t worry if your goal currently seems out of reach. Write it down on paper and play around with the phrasing until you are completely happy with it.
Step Number 2 – Picture yourself having already achieved that goal
Reading your outcome goal out loud, find an internal picture that best represents you having already achieved this goal. You can see this picture as a still image or as a video. Either one is fine. Just try and make the picture as clear as possible. For now, create the image as though you are watching yourself.
Step Number 3 – Step into that picture
Next see yourself stepping into the picture. We call this associating into the picture. Allow yourself to fully experience what it’s like to be this version of yourself, having achieved this goal. What do you see, what do you hear, and what do you feel?
Step Number 4 – Past pace back to the present moment
Staying associated, take a moment to look back at what you did over the past 3, 6, 12, and 24 months to achieve this goal. What were the critical actions that you took that helped you get to this place?
Step Number 5 – Write down your CAS’s
Based on your visualisation identify the 5 critical action steps that you feel had the greatest impact on you achieving your goal. These should be CAA’s that you intent to perform daily or at the very least weekly. Write these 5 critical action steps down.
Step Number 6 – Track your CAS’s
Create a spread sheet, blog, or some other tracking system that allows you to monitor your progress. I use google docs with my athlete’s to increase accountability. If you have a coach or friend that you can use as an accountability partner this system can be very beneficial. Each day grade yourself out of 20 for each of your 5 CAS. Doing this will give you a score out of 100.
Step Number 7 – Celebrate your wins
Develop a system that allows for you to celebrate your wins. For example, every time you set a new personal best for your daily 100 score reward yourself. Every time you set a new personal best for your weekly 700 score reward yourself. Every 10 days that you consistently perform and grade each of your 5 CAS’s reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be a huge reward, but it is important to include this step. If possible make sure your reward is in alignment with your end goal.
The truth is goal setting is important, but what’s more important is taking the right type of action towards achieving your goals. I want to leave you of the four objectives of any good goal setting system, that we identified at the start of this article.
Your system will:
1. Provide you with direction and keep you moving forward.
2. Develop clarity on the immediate action steps that you need to take.
3. Provide a platform to evaluate your performance.
4. Lead to a surge of motivation.
If you’re goal setting program is not ticking these four boxes then you need to re-evaluate it. To lean more high level tips on goal setting and other peak performance strategies you can visit Matt’s blog at www.peakperformancesports.com.au.