With the World Championships behind us and many races this year - it's a good time for all of us to reflect on what you have achieved and how you achieved it - but why should we do that? Well let's have a look at a little of the psychology of setting and achieving goals.
We live in an age where goals are king. Our societies tell us that setting and achieving them is just the only way to lead a fulfilling life, and thus the only way to be truly happy, but that we also need to enjoy the process in between — the “journey,” they call it.
Just do it
It’s a pervasive phenomenon and it affects how we feel about the success of ourselves and others (or lack thereof), and about how we approach life itself. “Work Hard, Dream Big,” as Nike says. “Just Do It.”
But what happens after an event one that you have been training for, for so long? When I finish a race I say to myself what am I gonna do next? I’ve reach one stage, and so what is the next peak experience in my life?'”
The problem with goal pursuit is that you become shackled to your own motivations. You spend far more time chasing the goal than you do enjoying the success that comes with achieving it. You may spend months even years getting there and when you do it's just minutes of elation and then emptiness.
This is the time you need to reflect and look at how far you have come - the good the bad and the ugly of getting there and relive the memories because they are all to easily forgotten. Think about the passion that started you on the course to achieve your goal and reignite those thoughts.
Take time to reconnect with your friends and your family members and tell your story share the experience and the passion will stay with you. Maybe even encourage others because you did it then, so can they - you can give them that confidence.
Reaching your goal should be the beginning
Reaching your goal shouldn't be the end but only the beginning - generally you are fitter and lighter and more alert, you have developed some great habits so don't lose them make it a permanent change make it part of your life and that way you can achieve new things, every day week or month and not just the "big goal".
So I tend to plan a year ahead - yes some behags (big hairy audacious goals) but also many many little ones from trying to beat my 400m time round a track to running the best I can off the bike in a Ironman event. That way I should at least be successful somewhere during the year and with that success comes the motivation to keep the healthy habit.
What drives you?
Reflection is what drives me to the next achievement as I ask, "what can I do better next time"?or "how could I help someone else to the start line"?, it's also a great learning technique, you learn more about yourself if you take the time to really look back and see what you can achieve. So find what drives you.
So after you have achieved your goal have a plan and make reflection part of it.
History is written by the victors - and that's you!