January 7, 2017
Being a great tennis players is not only being able to have the technique to hit a tennis ball but having the body to do it as efficiently and as effectively as possible. To be the best tennis player you can be, it requires a lot of work! Discipline, focus and yes, motivation. The start of the new year is often the time to set goals and go for them but we often overlook how we will get to those goals. This blog will focus on one of the most important ingredients in reaching your goals; motivation. I hope this blog can help you find that inspiration you are looking for to make the effort to change your habit(s) to be a better tennis player/healthier person for 2017. Enjoy!
The Importance of Numbers
Numbers are powerful. We use it for financial reasons and more than likely in our workplace. How about finding numbers in your eating and exercise habits? Finding ways to chart progress other than on how you feel is important to stay motivated. If you see progress with numbers, you’re more likely to stay on track. For example, instead of saying “eating right,” figure a reasonable amount of healthy foods you want to eat per day. For exercise, mark down daily how many minutes you exercise. You’ll notice that the more you do, the more detailed your numbers will become, further pushing you towards staying healthy.
Longevity and Family
I can look no further than some family members of mine that I know are in poor health. It is hard to see how little they can operate as a normal person. I do not know about you, but I want to be climbing mountains when I’m 60. Life is a long journey and I want to make sure I’m able to enjoy it as much as possible when I get older. Also, how great will it be to see your kids grow up to live a fulfilling life like you set them up for? To hold your grand kid and watch them grow up? To be fit and healthy allows these things to happen. Keep a picture of your family on your mirror to constantly remind yourself why you are working hard on your health.
Who Do You Hang Out With?
It is a lot easier to be inspired and motivated when you surround yourself with these people. Do you have someone that is always complimenting you on your hard work? How about people that are always pushing themselves towards their personal goals? These people will help you reach your own goals. Find a friend that shares your health goals and you instantly will be each others personal trainers. This is very important in the sport of tennis as for the most part, you need someone to train with on a consistent basis.
Sometimes we forget to celebrate the things we accomplish, making it less of a deal than it should. If you worked hard towards a goal of yours, make sure you take some time off to congratulate yourself with something you enjoy. Maybe it’s going to a movie or going shopping. Whatever it is, do it so you have that motivation to reach yet another goal of yours.
Motivation is often easy to acquire but hard to obtain over a long period of time. A good way to get motivated and stay motivated is through organization of your long and short-term goals. Start by making an outline. You can list your long-term goals as well as your short-term goals. The more detail the better so include benefits, possible pitfalls and rewards. Make sure you have specific short-term goals that can be accomplished in a short period of time. The length is very important because once you finish one of these goals, you will feel motivated by knowing you are one step closer in reaching your long-term goal. When outlining your practice, don't go out and just hit tennis balls, Make the practice focus on a particular part of your game that you want to improve. Focused practice is MUCH more effective!
Goal Support System
Once you have something to work towards, try these tricks to help you stay on course:
1. Create a mantra. This is something you can put on your mirror or by your desk so that it is always on your mind. What it is is a simple saying that relates to your goal. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you can write down your ideal weight or just the number “20.” To keep you reminded of this goal throughout the day.
2. Create a ritual. Humans are creatures of habit so by doing something that ties into your health plans on a daily basis will help you reach your goals without creating so much stress. For example, you can simply drink a glass of water before every meal instead of a soda.
3. Turn on your auto-response. Most people know what their ideal health would look like. The problem is that we often over think things so much that we don’t make a decision. Our heart tells us the direction to go but our brain says “how the heck is that going to happen?” By putting your mind into auto-response, you tell yourself “I’ll figure it out” instead of ignoring the heart all together. This can keep you motivated since you are finding ways to reach your goals not excuses to ignore them.
There are some great videos to check out. I've included two of my favorite.
Conclusion: Find the Process
Everyone is different in how they can achieve difficult goals. The key is to find the process that will give you the best chance in reaching them. 45% of all of your actions are habits so instilling consistent action will be key in your success. It's the start of 2017. Make it a year to remember!