5 Steps to Achieving New Year’s Goals

The New Year is a time to set goals. Every year people set goals that they forget or lose track of by February.   Whether it’s because they become too busy, the goal wasn’t that important to them in the first place or perhaps they just didn’t write the goal effectively. So how do you stay on track with a goal?

  1. It’s important to have a well written goal. To know specifically what it is that you want. SMART goals are a great way to have a well written goal.  Write them so they are:

              Specific-Measureable-Achievable-Realistic-Timed

  1. Once you have a well written goal you will need to have a strong emotional desire to achieving the goal. If the goal is not something that has a strong emotional component you are less likely to achieve it. Close your eyes and visualize having your goal and see what emotions it stirs within you.
  1. Make sure you only have 1 or 2 major goals at a time. Any more than this and you will have too many goals to focus on and none of them will get done. A major goal like losing 40 pounds will affect many aspects of your life.
  1. Create an action plan in writing to accomplish the goal. Once you have the goal you need a plan or road map to get you there. By creating a plan you will automatically find the obstacles in your path and be able to prepare for them. By writing long hand you also engage Broca’s Area- a part of the brain that when engaged helps the person to connect powerfully to what they have written in a way that is not stimulated by typing on a computer.
  1. Get the resources necessary to achieve the goal. Resources could be something tangible like money or setting aside time. Resources can also be improving confidence or developing a more positive attitude.

Writing a goal by using these 5 steps will make you more likely to achieve your goals. As in most aspects of life, it is a process. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Perfection is unattainable.  By improving each and every year you will achieve more of your goals.

 

 

 

 

Fear during Swimming for Triathletes

Fear of water is something that many people have either due to a previous near drowning incident or simply because as a child they never became familiar with water during play. Fear of swimming in a triathlon however is usually a totally different kind of fear.
Sometimes, it is more about a feeling of overwhelm. Other times it could be from the crowds and fear of being hit while in the water (a very real possibility). Other times it could be from a negative experience of exhaustion while out in deep water. Still other times it could be the athlete pushing themselves to do a sport that they don’t like in order to compete in a triathlon. Another possibility is the fear of failure creating Anxiety and that feeling can be transformed into panic.
hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help in all of these instances. When I work with a triathlete we start by finding out the underlying cause. Whether it is actually a fear of the water or something else that is causing the problem. Once we have determined where the fear is coming from we can change and reframe the problem.
We first start by calming the nervous system and allowing the person to feel that they have permission to relax. Too often driven individuals don’t allow themselves to relax because they feel that it is not moving them toward their goal. The fact is that by taking time everyday to relax and diffuse stress and Anxiety they gain the ability to perform at a higher level without all the tension. Olympic athletes know that if they become too tense they will not perform at peak. Physically it is impossible to perform well when physically tense. Mental tension creates physical tension. We then move on to clearing the subconscious mind of unrealistic fears and Anxiety. This allows the athlete to feel more calm and in control. Finally we use mental rehearsal during hypnosis. When a swimmer is able to see his/her self successfully completing the race feeling calm and focused during hypnosis they will find that when they actually do the swim it feels familiar and much more comfortable.
By taking charge of the mind and allowing the mind and body to work together seamlessly, the athlete has a much better experience. They feel in control, calm, comfortable and their performance will improves too!

Get More Mind Power!

Any of you who have heard me speak, know that the functioning of the human mind is a subject about which I am passionate. My interest began in childhood. I noticed that many people said things that were not congruent with the actions they took. In other words they didn’t “walk their talk”. These people, in most cases, were not conscious of the disconnect between their words and their actions. Their core beliefs are what formed their actions and could not be overcome simply by them wanting to be different. So how does this happen?
To understand behavior its important to understand how the behavior is formed. We all have a conscious and a subconscious mind. The conscious mind is where all linear analytical thought takes place and the subconscious mind is where all emotions, memories, daydreams, reactions, habits and patterns, images and pictures and the autonomic nervous system function. Fully 88% of the mind is “subconscious”. The average person spends 50-80 percent of their waking day in their subconscious mind. Your memories and experiences in your past are what create who you are today. To change who you are its important to let go of the past which has essentially programmed you to behave in a certain way.
All behavioral change takes place at the subconscious level. So in order to change a behavior, your thinking about yourself must change first.  This is the premise behind “The Secret” and all kinds of “law of attraction” writings.  When you focus on what you want,  you draw more to you.  In other words you become what you think about the most.  The more positive changes that happen from these new thoughts the more they are reinforced in your subconscious mind.
Self hypnosis is a great way to get more positive thoughts and therefore more positive behaviors.  When in hypnosis the positive thought, suggestions or affirmations go into the mind at a deeper level.  It is this ability to get the thoughts into the subconscious which makes hypnosis and self hypnosis so powerful.
When you use your mind in this way, the new thoughts and or behaviors become automatic.   This is “mind power”.

 

The Mental Game of Tennis

At the highest level the game of tennis is a battle of overcoming adversity.  The highly competitive nature of tennis is obvious, but it is not all the physical game.  In fact the more advanced the player the greater the impact from the mental aspect.  At this level the mental game of tennis is 90% of the game.

Mental toughness is a phrase that comes to mind when dealing with any highly competitive sport.  With tennis it is the key.  We have all seen the player who is incredibly talented, with the best serve or stroke, be annihilated by the player with the better mental focus and ability to stay on task.  Professional players have their own sports hypnotist/sports psychologist who specializes in training the player to excel at the mental aspect of the game.

Don’t have your own mind coach yet?  The following are some techniques you can use to improve your game:

  • Find a way to improve your focus.  Use meditation or self hypnosis to be able to put yourself in” the zone”.
  • Use a trigger.  Things like walking onto the court.  Holding or tossing the tennis ball before the serve.  Checking your racket strings.  These are all ways to trigger getting into “the zone”.
  • Mentally rehearse shots while in a relaxed state.
  • Get rid of fear.  Find a way to stay focused and let fear move into the background.  Focus on the desired result, your positive vision of the game.

But the best technique of all is to connect to the fun of  playing the game.  Remember why you wanted to play tennis in the first place. This more than anything will help you to move past fear and enjoy the game the way you did when you began playing.  Remember, once you know the strokes, stance and strategy,  it’s all about tweaking your mind to access your full potential and to play your best  mental game .

 

Failure is Just Feedback

People fear failure.  This fear causes them to not even attempt certain things because they are afraid they will fail.  Fearing failure is ironic because by fearing to take action you virtually guarantee failure.

People are born with only two fears.  Fear of loud noises and falling all the others are taught and learned.  Some of this fear came from parents, siblings, teachers and friends.  They shared with you their fears their limitations and you accepted them.   In accepting them you taught yourself to fear taking certain actions and this created failure.

But realize that all experiences are simply learning experiences. All failure is feedback.  From each attempt or failure you will receive distinctions and these distinctions will enable you to be better at whatever you do next time.

The biggest successes have also been the people who failed the most.  Henry Ford went broke 5 times before he became the success we know today.  Walt Disney was fired on one of his first jobs for not being very creative,  Steven Spielberg was not able to get into the UCLA film school.  Fred Astaire was described as only able to “dance a little”.  Harrison Ford was told he would never make it as an actor.

These are just a few examples and there are hundreds more.  In order to succeed you must first fail.  So how do you overcome this fear?

  1. First let go of the idea that making a mistake is bad.  Realize greatness comes from risk.
  2. Start small and build your ability to overcome fear.  The more you risk in small ways and aren’t destroyed the easier it will be to move onto more consequential actions.
  3. Remember why you wanted to do something in the first place.  For example many athletes fear failure because they no longer focus on the fun of the game and instead obsess about winning and losing.

Using your mind more effectively can make all the difference between success and failure.  Remember failure is just feedback and allow that fact to move you past your fears and closer to true success.