Writing down your goals will keep you organized and accountable.
Setting goals is an exciting, inspirational and liberating way to start your training season. What can be difficult is the maintenance or follow-through in reaching your goals. The question of how to adhere to training goals is a good one, since research has suggested that intentional goal setting can be a powerful way to achieve objectives.
Studies have pointed to the effectiveness of self-monitoring, which involves regularly tuning into and recording observations of your progress toward goals.
Using a training log is a great tool for collecting your training data, and can provide concrete indicators of change and strategy effectiveness, plus it has a way of holding us accountable for our behaviors.
Making daily recordings of key training and performance variables can help athletes sustain attention and motivation, as well as accurately assess how they are progressing toward sought-after behavior changes.
Some tips for effective journaling include:
1. Choose just a few important target behaviors to track.
2. Keep your journal somewhere visible and convenient where you are likely to write in it daily.
3. Make entries a length that is consistently manageable.
4. Limit self-criticism if goal progress or getting into the habit of journaling is initially inconsistent.
This piece first appeared in the February issue of Competitor magazine.
About The Author:
Keith A. Kaufman, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical sports psychologist with offices in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Va. For more information about his work, visit www.keithkaufmanphd.com.