Top Ten Tips to Keep You Focused
10. POSITIVE IMAGES: Use your mental images throughout your event or workout to create feelings of speed and power. (e.g., If you’re walking or running and you come to an unexpected hill visualize a magnet pulling you effortlessly to the top). Use visualization before, during and after your training to build confidence and new motivation.
9. POWER WORDS: Make positive self-statements continually. Be aware of your negative thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. (e.g., When you’re thinking: “This hurts too much, I want to lie down and die”; say to yourself: “This feeling is connected with getting healthier and doing my absolute best”).
8. PRESENT FOCUS: Practice being in the present moment. Be Right On – Right Here – Right Now. Remind yourself to stay in the here and now. Let past and future events fade into the background. Remember, the only moment we can do anything about is the one we’re in right now.
7. ADVANTAGE: Use everything in the workout to your advantage. For example, if another person passes you, tuck in behind and go with his or her energy for as long as possible. You may catch a “second wind” and be carried on to a personal record.
6. CHUNKING-GOALS: Focus on your immediate target. Break your training goals down into small, manageable pieces and begin to focus only on the first portion, not the entire workout (e.g., Say to yourself: “I’m just relaxing and getting my rhythm during the first mile, or the first workout session”).
5. BODY SCAN: Pay close attention to your tension level and training form. Do a body scan while working out and relax your tight muscles frequently. Ask yourself: “Are my shoulders and neck relaxed; how does this pace feel; how much energy is left in my legs?”
4. PAIN AS EFFORT: If you have “good pain” that is not seriously damaging your body, just shift attention to your breathing or cadence of movement, and let the discomfort fade into the background. You can also use the pain as feedback. Register it not as pain but as effort level. Say: “Now I know exactly how hard I’m working. I know how this pace feels. My body is doing what it should be doing.”
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Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, best-selling author of YOUR PERFORMING EDGE™, is a STANFORD Performance Consultant, sports psychologist to OLYMPIC Gold Medalists and CEOs, Winner of the San Francisco Marathon and 2nd in the World Championship Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. She is an internationally recognized Keynote Speaker, TV SHOW host, columnist, and TV expert commentator on NBC and ABC.
Dr. JoAnn provides corporate training and personal coaching programs for sports, business, wellness, and reaching your potential in life. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-654-5500.