It’s a new year and the slate is clean when it comes to performing in 2016. It’s time to build on past mistakes and start fresh with a new attitude and new goals for the year ahead. Here are my top tips for reaching your performance potential in 2016.
1. Be Present. For best results, stay in the present and be mindful. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment on purpose. You can’t control the past or the future and uncertainty breeds anxiety so it is better to keep your focus on what you can control in the present. Being able to fully focus on one task at a time also enhances your performance and your ability to make accurate decisions without a cluttered mind.
2. Keep it simple and do what works. Just because it’s a new year does not mean that you have to throw out everything that you have tried before, especially if it has worked!
The more I work with elite performers, the more I discover that the simplest techniques are usually the best. If you do the basics well, you are going to be further ahead than someone who jumps from one complex training philosophy to another. Consistency always wins. A simple mentality is also useful as it reduces clutter and confusion and creates certainty within the brain, which leads to a calming effect and improved performance.
3. Have a plan. Set aside an hour at the start of the year to set goals, including where you want to go and how you are going to get there (be specific!) Set aside 15 minutes every week to plan the next week and schedule in training sessions, as well as reviewing what worked and what didn’t from the previous week. A Training Diary will assist this process.
4. Trust Yourself. The word confidence comes from a Latin word that means “with trust”, which is an important ingredient for peak performance. Develop confidence by reminding yourself of your achievements and key strengths, as well as what you have achieved. Aim to do this daily or weekly by asking, “what did I do well today/this week?” This practice will train your brain to look for the positives and how and why you can trust yourself instead of simply focusing on what you did wrong, which undermines your confidence and can erode self-esteem.
5. Allow mistakes. Mistakes can be a stumbling block, creating a fear of failure and self-loathing, or they can be a stepping stone, an opportunity to grow learn and develop. Turn mistakes into stepping stones by asking yourself what the opportunity is after every mistake or setback you experience. Regularly practice this technique until it comes naturally.
Practice these skills to get the most out of your brain and give you the best opportunity to reach your performance potential in 2016.
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