It can be tempting to take some downtime after you’ve reached a goal. Recalibrating is important. You can use the positive feeling from hitting a personal goal to springboard into the next one. So do what the pros do: make your next goal even bigger after achieving something .
“I love high heart goals. They're really motivating for people. They help us feel engaged, they give us a sense of progress and mastery,” Alex Auerbach, Raptors team psychologist says.
To help his athletes reach their big, next goals, Auerbach teaches them to keep 3 things in mind:
This is what you’re working toward. “If you want to be sixth man of the year, or you want to set a bunch of personal records, that's the outcome,” Auerbach says. Setting and naming the outcome is important. It’s up to us to determine when we’ve reached it. Set the outcome of your goal in clear terms, keeping in mind all the elements within your control.
“Along the way to these big, high, hard goals, we have natural checkpoints. They’re ways of making sure we are on the right path,” Auerbach says. He recommends building in four to six natural checkpoints over the course of however long you’ve set to reach your goal. Performance metrics like these should be measurable and actionable. For a pro trying for sixth man of the year, it could be logging a certain number of minutes off the bench per game. For you, it could be cycling to work three days out of five.
These are the things we do every day in service to our goals. That’s how we ultimately reach our bigger target. This could be 5-10 minutes spent stretching every morning. Or spending time in the evening prepping a balanced lunch for the next day. “Often people think about goal setting as this thing to get to as quickly as possible,” Auerbach says. “But to become sixth man of the year, or to be an NBA All Star requires daily preparation, daily execution.” In the scope of a day, it might not feel like much. But these incremental changes are what ultimately moves the needle to landing on the next big goal.