Best Year Yet

In this month’s issue I’m going to take a look at ways to make this year the best year yet – cliché, I know!

1. Set Intentions Not Goals
In my world, I often hear people talk about setting goals for themselves; however, recent research has proven that setting goals doesn’t really help us succeed and it certainly doesn’t make us any happier. This is typically how people set goals: set a goal, work towards said goal, complete that goal, create a new goal, work towards new goal, complete goal, set a new goal – and so on, believing that happiness and fulfilment is the other side of the goal, and if we meet our goals we will be happier and more successful. However, this is actually completely backwards to how the brain works, if we can raise the brain’s happiness in the present then we start to get what Shawn Anchor calls the “happiness advantage.” When we live in a happy positive state our brain is 31% more productive than in any other state. This makes us more creative, gives us more energy, and overall, makes us more productive. So this year, let’s focus on the present not the future, write down things that went well today, focus on your current performance, not future performances. For a deeper understanding of this topic, take a moment to read some of Shawn Anchor’s studies.

2. Write it Down, Make a Plan
You don’t have to make a fancy training plan or calendar, but just writing down what classes, activities or sports you want to do is going to help motivate you to get out there and do them. Look ahead at your work-week and social-life schedule. If you see spare time, then fill it with something you want to do. But if you’ve got a hectic week at work or you’ve got lots on the go, then simply don’t over load yourself. Missing a couple of workouts isn’t going to ruin your overall fitness. Remember to also include time to rest, the body and mind need time to rest and repair tired muscles.

3. Focus On the Positives
When I’m coaching skiing, I really try to always add to my client’s or athlete’s skiing. I reinforce what’s already working, make them aware of what they are doing well, and also point out when they make a great move. Try this with your own sport. Instead of trying to take away what’s not so good about your technique, try to add the move you need to get better and change. It’s a way more beneficial way of improving.

4. Join a Team, Club or Group
I love nothing more than chasing friends around the mountain on skis or trying to keep up to them on a bike. It pushes me to become better, but it also gives me the motivation to get out there when I may otherwise choose to be lazy. If we make plans with a group to go out and ride, then we’ll often be more motivated to get out there and do it. This could be joining a spin class, or joining in the women’s cross-country ski nights. Fernie has a lot of teams, clubs and groups in almost every sport the valley has to offer. I highly recommend you seek out a group or team and join in their activities.