New Year’s resolutions don’t have a good reputation, and this phrase is typically associated with dreams that fail to ever come to fruition. Be that as it may, setting goals for the year is an indispensable part of any athlete or sports junkie’s planning if they want to excel in their chosen sports code.
Perhaps the time has come to call them by a different name, but these 8 New Year’s resolutions for 2018 can definitely benefit any athlete.
1. Set a Wildly Important Goal
Setting a Wildly Important Goal, or WIG, will help you to work towards something in 2018. When it comes to WIGs, the most important thing is that it should be a goal that will really challenge you. A WIG isn’t a short-term training goal – rather, it is your ultimate goal for the coming year. Have you always thought you had it in you to run the Comrades Marathon, but never made it a definite goal? That’s your WIG. Decide on one thing that you’ll use to measure your success for the year, and direct all your training efforts towards it.
2. Keep track of your goals
Once you’ve set your WIG, it’s important to keep track of the steps you’re taking towards achieving it. Keep a journal or log your training with an app, so that you can measure your progress. Those that fail to plan, plan to fail, states the adage, and regularly checking in with yourself ensures that you are constantly reminded of the small daily, weekly and monthly steps you’re taking towards the ultimate goal.
3. Approach every training session with a goal in mind
Whilst your WIG is your big goal for the year, you should have smaller goals for every individual training session. Small goals set the tone for reaching the bigger ones, and every session is important. Don’t think of your daily schedule as a mere routine, but rather approach each day with a mini-target. No matter how small, each achievement helps to set the scene for the conclusion.
4. Be mindful about your training
We often engage in mindless, habitual training sessions without thinking too much about them. Approaching every training session mindfully helps you to truly experience every moment of training and visualise how everything ties in with your bigger training goals. Mindfulness is being present, and this trains your mind to be just as resilient as your body. Try to incorporate meditation and visualisation into your day. You won’t be able to literally see your mind grow stronger like you see your body growing stronger, but we guarantee it’ll influence your training.
5. Focus on healthy eating habits
This goes without saying, but far too many athletes disregard the importance of healthy eating habits when it comes to performance. Fuelling your body with the right stuff helps you to perform optimally. Make this a resolution you keep, and you’ll reap the benefits in training.
6. Drink a lot of water
Hydrating is another aspect of training that often gets left behind. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water – make it a part of your daily schedule. A well-hydrated body just works better than one that is permanently dehydrated.
7. Find like-minded training buddies
Whether they have the same WIG as you or not, training with other people is motivational and will help to keep you accountable. It’s always good to have people in your life that understand what exercise and training means and who you can compare notes with. Find these people in the gym, at your local running or cycling club, or at events, and make a point of staying in contact and trying to synchronise training sessions.
8. Keep a positive attitude
Things won’t always be rosy and gay in the coming year. Sometimes training feels like a chore, other aspects of your life seem to interfere with your training, or you suffer an injury. Don’t be discouraged: this too shall pass. Keeping a positive attitude goes a long way, and using the aforementioned measures will help to keep you upbeat and focused, especially when life happens.
Happy training and may 2018 be the year of ultimate success!