*Guest written by Remi Sobomehin of Team Esface Athletics, one of the most prominent athletics-based youth training and development organizations in the Bay Area.

What’s next? Your inspiration has fizzled out. Your jealousy has run out. Your determination to get back in shape just isn’t motivating enough anymore.

Try goal setting. Why? Because when everything in you runs empty, your goals remain.

Be As Specific As Possible

Are you trying to increase you vertical jump? Pick how many inches you want to be able to jump in 40 days from now. Are you a runner? Pick your goal mile time you want to hit in 2 months. Are you trying to lose or gain weight? Set an exact date and set an exact goal in pounds.

Reaffirm Your Goal: No Way Out

The mind is powerful. If your subconscious mind is okay with not hitting your goal, then your brain will find a way out 10 out of 10 times. Instead, if you set a goal and reaffirm that you will hit that goal, then your brain will find a way to make it happen.

So how do you reaffirm a goal? Speak it. And speak it as reality. If your goal is to run a 7-minute mile in 30 days, say: “I’m going to run a 7-minute mile by the end of the month.” Say it every workout. Say it everyday. Think about it as you run. Tell your friends about your goal over and over until the 30 days end and your goal is now reality.

Visualize Success

I visualized where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.

Michael Jordan

Visualization is using mental imagery to remind yourself of what success will feel like. Again using the 7-minute mile example, imagine every part of the run. Imagine the focus as you start the race. Imaging your feet hitting the track as you find your stride. Imaging yourself pushing through the pain in the last 400 meters. Imagine crossing the line, looking down at your stopwatch, and seeing the goal you just hit. Any goal in any sport can benefit from visualization.

You can only reach your goals if you set them first!

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