Digging Deep: Finding the mental edge to reach your goals.

Being a strength and conditioning coach for almost 20 years, I have had my fair share of athletes/clients coming to me with a goal or achievement that they want to pursue. To me, the fact that someone has chosen me to help them achieve this is quite flattering and as a result, I will always try to help them by doing everything in my power to guide them through the necessary process.

Unfortunately, as I'm sure many of you will know, what we "say" we are going to do is, very often, quite different to what ends up happening! It's not that we are necessarily unmotivated anymore, but there generally seems to be some blockage in the process, something that we haven't yet learned to side-step around.

That's because we haven't changed our BEHAVIOUR.

Making change is specific to each individual, so there can be no 'one-solution-fixes-all' conclusion. However, in this case, there IS a process that can be undertaken which, when guided correctly, will give you results that you'd never thought possible. 

The 'Behaviour-Model' looks to dig deeper and find the real NEED behind your desired change. It starts with a thought, moves to an action and continues through habit. An acronym that plans out this process is known as "DARN-C". It was coined by Miller, William R., & Rollnick, S (2013) and seeks to break down the purpose of your decision to aim of the intended goal.

D- Desire: This relates to your determination to make a specific change. Rate it on a scale of 1 -10, with 10 being "I will stop at nothing until this goal is achieved" and 1 representing you'd be just as happy sitting on the couch!

A- Ability: This section deals with your realistic thought process. How possible do you think the end goal is? Have you tried before and 'failed'? Is that going to affect your chances of success this time around? Again, rate this from 1 -10, with 10 being "I got this in the bag" versus 1 being, "I'm scared that I'll completely fail again".

R- Reasons: Generally refers to the logical reasons behind your decision, i.e.: I want to lose weight to look better, I want to get the job to make more money etc...Make a list of these and relate it to the goal you have set yourself.

N-Need: This is the key element. What is the deep, underlying reason this goal has been set? You want to lose weight to look good, but for who? Why? Is it because you were overweight and are worried about not living long enough to see your kids grow up? Pretty good reason to lose weight. Are you wanting to earn loads of money because you feel the desire to pay your parents back for all the effort they put into bringing you up? Also makes a lot of sense. This is by far the most critical process to go through when goal setting, as it gives your goal and REAL purpose, so when those roadblocks come up (and they WILL come up!), you can stay focused on the task at hand, with a real understanding of why it is that your doing it in the first place.

And this leads us to what the C is about....

C-Commitment: If you have a NEED to achieve this goal, not just a desire, you will be committed to the journey, no matter how long it takes. The NEED doesn't go away, so neither should your commitment to keep grinding it out and get the job done.

Goals are usually set because they seem achievable by the individual, which in most cases, means they generally ARE achievable. What let's us down is the way that we try to get there, so quite often you will need a great support system to help support you along the way. Partners, coaches, family , training crew or any other positive influences are who you need to surround yourself with and keep your DARN-C written down and in clear view everyday.

You'll get there, just remember "Reward for Effort"!

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