If there is one thing that this time of year is not short on is New Years Resolutions. The thought that you have an entire calendar year to devote to new habit forming and personal development helps individuals feel that they are more in control of the metrics of their progress. Having said that, athletes & coaches often fall into ruts of both the development of their resolutions (another name for goals) and understanding of how to make them a reality.
New Years Resolutions are just a fancy way of saying “new goals for this calendar year” but our goals (short and long term) can be better served if we see them in a bigger picture than just a calendar year. Think about if you were building a house staring January 1st of the year. By late-summer the primary build-out is done and now we get to customize floors, fixtures, etc…Unfortunately what most of us do with our house (goals) is somewhere along the line we start taking a sledgehammer to the foundation of the house we started in January. By December, we’ve damaged the foundation of our house so much that it’s less than habitable. So what do we do? We tear it down, and start a foundation in January of the following year.
Athletes: A great goal for your New Years Resolutions should be that the following year, you have less substantial habits to change & each year is built upon the previous. Don’t consistently tear down and try to rebuild your your house! Add on, make modifications, paint something, but don’t tear it down if you spent the proper time building it. Build up your year so that you don’t want to change much in the years to follow. Refine, progress, learn, and apply so each year is better, not just the first quarter of each year.
Coaches: Athletes are extremely motivated this time of year. It doesn’t matter what you think of that motivation, what matters is that you meet them where they are at and help them develop. You will get people who want to drastically change nutrition, start a vastly new training regiment, change their career path, start school again, etc… They come to you willingly to help guide them. Do not undermine their motivation by putting blockades up. Unfortunately I’ve been seeing a lot of sarcastic “Here comes the New Year, New Me” posts and misguided attempts at helping athletes by telling them that New Years Resolutions are bull-shit.
Work together, build out benchmarks and action items to support progress of those benchmarks, and schedule accountability. What is going to truly separate your 2018 from all the years in the past? Is that change going to last beyond January 1st, 2019?
I hope so, because everyone has a profound right to realize their potential.