Athletes are motivated and inspired by clear and measurable goals. Post-sport one can get lost in life-change and opportunities and the athlete may forget these important steps for success.
I thought I was pretty good at setting goals and achieving them. At just 10 years old I decided that I would go to the Olympics and I achieved that in 2000, representing Australia in Beach Volleyball.
When I was 20 and playing for Australia in Indoor Volleyball, my coach introduced me to the idea of writing my goals down – I achieved those too.
In 2006, when I started studying Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) I started to understand the science behind goal setting and it led to even greater success in my life beyond sport.
Goals provide you the motivation to move ahead and to do the things you might not like to do and setting clear targets is Step 2 of creating your own success beyond sport. Here are 7 keys that you need to consider in order for you to achieve your goals, whether in the next year, or in your lifetime.
“Begin with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
1. Dare to Dream
Think about who you want to be, what you want to have and where you want to go in your life. Have goals that you’re passionate about, that excite you. What is that you really want, if you could have anything you desire?
Don’t limit yourself by what you think you can do or deserve. Dream B.I.G. (Bold Inspiring Goals) as you never know what you will achieve unless you go for it.
Don’t worry about ‘how’ you will achieve your goal. First establish the ‘what’ – this will lead you to the ‘how’.
2. Write it down
There is a certain power to putting a goal down on paper. It means you need to be clear about what it is you really want. That might be challenging, but until you do your goal is a wishy-washy concept that changes by the moment.
When writing a goal, be specific about what you want and put a date to it. A deadline creates the urgency to make it happen. Without that, the goal will always be out in the future – someday!
3. Visualize your Goal
Try your goal on for size by stepping into it as if it is happening for you right now. Visualization processes are very effective in adding the clarity and the emotions to goals to maximize your ability to achieve them easier and more quickly. I love to use these processes with clients, either individually or in a group, because of the results they start to see become a reality.
4. Take Action
Now you know what you want to achieve, make a plan and take action. Your goal should inspire you with the right actions to take. You may be surprised at what opportunities and people come in your life at this point. When those opportunities come, you need to take them.
What I suggest you do is ask yourself everyday – “What’s one thing I can today towards my goal?” It’s the little things that you do every day that will work you towards your goal.
A coach will help you formulate a plan of action and keep you accountable to fulfilling that plan.
5. Stay focused
You are going to need to stay focused and committed to your goal. There will be obstacles in your way and as long as you stay focused on where you want to go, you’ll get around them.
Every time an obstacle comes along your way, keep asking yourself, “How else can I get to my goal?”
Remember to constantly assess and measure that you are on-course and be flexible to adjust.
6. The Law of Detachment
According to Deepak Chopra, this Spiritual Law says that the way to acquire anything in the universe is to relinquish our attachment to it.
As you are focused on your goal you also need to let go of it needing to happen. When you are attached to a goal, you can resist the current flow of results.
Consider how you feel about your goal. Do you trust it will happen, or not. Detachment means that regardless of your current results you trust that achievement of your goal is inevitable.
Detachment allows you to be flexible, to accept the results that are coming your way, and you are able to adjust course.
7. Think beyond your Goal
Your goal is not the ‘be all, end all’. What does achieving your goal allow you to the do? Each goal is a stepping-stone towards the next goal, towards the next thing.
You may start to question whether your goals are meaningful. If you’re goal is to drive a fancy car, what does that mean for you. If you desire to go to the Olympics, what will that allow you to do? What goals give meaning to your life and the greater community?
Take into account all 7 keys when planning your goals.
I hope it gets you thinking about what you need to do now to move ahead with confidence and success in your mind. It starts in your mind so dare to dream!
Please share your views on what it takes to achieve goals.