2011-12-09 / Columnists

Rockaway Walks Fitness Column

Goal Setting Blueprint For The New Year
Commentary By Steven McCartney, IPO, HSW, MS

Yes, let’s look at essentials for goal setting for the New Year. Working as a group trainer and teacher of Physical Education I look for formulas or strategies that can be employed to increase a change in behaviors. Behaviors are most likely to change when an individual is self motivated and committed to a program. A good program will provide an individual with the ability for goal setting (review The Wave article on pain management: Listen to your body). Goal setting provides you the assistance to achieve personal growth and peak performance and is most effective in enhancing your experience with any task no matter how small or big. Most of all induce change in anxiety, performance and motivation (physical, social, emotional, and psychological). Explicit and specific goals will enhance your performance and help you gain new knowledge in working with others. The goal of this article is to give you a passion, a belief and a goal to make the difference between mediocrity and excellence (and accomplishment) in order to increase your chance of measurable success.

Let’s begin our New Year with seven key points: Desire, Write, Identify, Deadline, Plan, Mental Picture, and Persistence. Remember, state each goal as a positive statement; express positively. “Execute this statement well” is better than “Don’t make this stupid mistake.” Be precise, set priorities, write goals down, keep operational goals small (small and incremental derived from larger ones), set performance goals (not outcomes but personal performance and draw satisfaction from them), set realistic goals (show your desire and ambition), and do not set goals too low (use imagery effectively; create mental pictures). Allow yourself to enjoy the achievement of goals and reward yourself appropriately. Draw lessons where appropriate, and apply to future performance.

Let’s examine the seven key points for implementing Positive Self Talk Skills.

Desire: Implement goal setting Positive Self Talk Skills. Benefits of desire build self esteem, commitment, motivation, relieves stress, creates more energy, deeper relationships, trust, peace of mind, being more organized, healthier lifestyle, can do, good fortune, reduces fear, creates more time, gains the ability of fulfilling life and increases performance.

Written goal: My goal is to implement specific procedures (process goals) that are measurable and specific for implementing Positive Self Talk.

Identify Obstacles: Prioritize, accomplishing one goal and determining instrument that is transferable for everyday use outside of instruction. “Let’s try this out. I will require you to place a coin in one pocket and every time you have a negative thought you transfer the coin to the other pocket (make modifications if no pocket)”. Within a class during cool down of an activity I would debrief and ask individ- uals to share how they could restate the negative in a positive phrase (build group cohesion). In addition I would supply each individual with goal achievement cards (journal) and goal evaluation cards so individuals can see over time (measure) progress as it relates to actively contributing to positive feedback through Positive Self Talk (list and analyze, create a journal).

A criteria, a rubric for goal achievement and evaluation (quantitative). Supply individual with coins. (Create a timeline.)

Plan: Follow procedures of introducing Positive Self Talk using a coin during activity outlined in step 3. During the cool down debrief with positive feedback. Keep journal. Apply daily, weekly and monthly assessment (formative assessment). Encourage positive feedback. (List activities, prioritize, and rewrite list practice, repeat and rehearse to perfect skill.)

Mental Pictures: 4-12 weeks of monitoring practice of Positive Self Talk you should be able to identify improvement in your performance and enjoy the achievement of your goals.

Persistence: Utilizing theory of goal setting with outcome goals, performance goals and process goals (Marten & Burton). Promote blueprint of goal setting and Positive Self Talk in personal life, practice and competition.

Overall, Goal Setting Blueprint for the New Year will help you in activities of daily living and your concentration by focusing on relevant cues (selective attention), maintaining attentional focus over time, having situational awareness and shifting attentional focus when needed. Cooperation, consistency and patience will help you with self actualization of your goals in the New Year.

Happy New Year to all and thank you “Rockaway Walks” participants and sponsors: The Wave newspaper, Councilman James Sanders’Office, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Joseph Addabbo Health Center, NYC Parks Department, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, York College (USS CUNY), Stop n Shop, Office Max, Modell’s Sporting Goods and Healthy Lifestyle Changes Inc. for longevity of the “Rockaway Walks” Program.

For questions or concerns you may contact me at steven_ mccartney@walk programs.com.

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