If you are anything like me, you have high hopes of achieving a lofty New Year’s resolution but as the days and weeks pass by, your resolve starts to dissolve. Typically, these resolutions are tied to something we are passionate about or value strongly, yet we let it go after one slip. It often seems easier to let the pledge go than be burdened with the pressure of seeing the goal through.
But if we are going to bother committing some time to a goal, shouldn’t we find a way to make it last? My resolution this year is to have more patience with my toddler and preschooler. The goal is obviously an important one, so I want to make sure I’m not giving up on it half way through the first month.
I was barely through the first day of the 2013 when my daughter decided to test my tenacity. With anticipation that this goal was going to be tested on a daily basis, I realized I better be prepared to deal with these hurdles. I decided to pull out my old Olympic psychological training to help me manage the challenges.
My goal as I approached my second Olympic games was to bring home one of those prestigious medals — and I certainly had one color in mind. When I was training for the Olympics, one of the activities I did was to run, trying to build up my stamina for the entire season. Running became my sanctuary, and I used the time to remotivate myself for the upcoming year. I would rebuild my confidence by visualizing a perfect Olympic performance. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I imagined overcoming potential adversities. I visualized the support team I’d have around me. I envisioned the entire build up to the big day. And then the real inspiration came through the thoughts of standing on the Olympic podium and receiving my medal. I imagined the crowds, the noisemakers, the music playing. I even imagined the interviews I would do after my exhilarating win. I often found myself smiling as I was running through the streets. When I finally got to the Olympics, my positive visualizations helped set the stage for an experience that was more exciting than my wildest dreams.