Find Your Better in 2019

Dr. Lowell Greib MSc ND CISSN

Resolve not to make resolutions! Rather, make the effort to set health related goals AND achieve them. In practicing sports medicine, it has become apparent that those with effective goal setting skills, generally speaking, have improved long term athletic success and in doing so have inadvertently learned the art of resiliency.

How are these athletes any different between you and I? There are two factors at play. They are highly motivated to achieve high performance and also excellent at defining performance indicators, through goal setting.. Not only do their goals fit the principles of ‘SMART’ goals (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely), but these athletes tend to add to their goal setting technique.

Many successful athletes have a training log. A detailed account of what they do and how they perform on a day to day basis. This tactic forces a goal to be recorded.  In doing so, the athlete has established a contract with themselves and has created accountability which helps drive improvement in performance.

Another key benefit of logging information is that it allows for ongoing evaluation of a goal. An athletes training journal provides a tactic to review historical change and more clearly identify key challenges that may be barriers to success. These challenges can then be addressed quickly, leading to more timely success in goal achievement.

The final aspect that athletes take into consideration is a factor of reality when participating in sport – injury.  Physical performance can be considerably influenced through the process of injury and subsequent therapy. As such, the willingness to have reversibility of a goal (some flexibility to make a back up plan) allows for the unexpected in life to occur, while concurrently building the resiliency that is required to reset a training plan and, subsequently, build a new set of ‘SMART’ goals.

By engaging yourself in ‘SMART’ goals AND the three additional goal setting tactics (recording, ongoing evaluation and reversibility) you are positioning yourself for continued  success and improved resiliency not only at the start of a new calendar year, but consistently over the course of life.

(Originally published for the AANMC 2018)

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