Having a goal is great. But having a plan to achieve that goal is what really matters. (See 4 Motivational Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals.) When many elite athletes set targets for themselves, they also use winning sports psychology strategies to hit them. (Check out Goal-Oriented Training: Five Keys to Athletic Success.) Below are two strategies you can use to help you set—and reach—your highest marks.
Many years ago, in a book for actors entitled Acting One, a writer named Robert Cohen put forth ideas that have proven remarkably helpful to people of all walks of life. His strategy was known by the acronym GOTE, which stands for goals, obstacles, tactics and expectations. Actors used those four factors to learn more about the characters they play. Athletes can use the same principles to clearly identify what they want to do, and how they can do it.
Chip and Dan Heath wrote a book about ideas called Made to Stick, which asked readers to examine the reasons they set goals in the first place. The book suggests identifying a core priority that will underlie your plan of action, and the reason behind the goals you set. Why is this important? Since things rarely go as planned, you want to make sure you stay true to the real reason you set those goals in the first place.
Identifying a core priority helps you get and stay motivated to achieve your goals. It also helps you effectively make decisions that will keep you on track to reach them. You don’t just “do,” you figure out why you are doing. For example: are you playing because you want to enjoy your sport experience, reach your full potential, challenge yourself and test your limits, or do whatever is needed for the good of the team? What is the real reason behind your effort? Identifying it will help you better understand what you should be doing—and why it matters.