Scientific evidence shows that having a goal is better for performance than not having one, because it focuses the mind and gives us something to shoot for.
It's important to have a long term 'outcome goal', and this can create an excitement in the emotional part of the brain, however focusing too much on this, can also make the emotional part of the brain become anxious and start creating negative beliefs, such as "I can't do that", "I'm not good enough" or "It's too hard".
From performance psychology, a key attribute is to shift the emphasis from the outcome to process, through building a process mindset.
So rather than focusing on the long term goal, instead remaining focused on the present and focusing on small 'process goals'. These are daily activities you need to complete in order to achieve your goals (Think back to your daily intentions, which I spoke about in my last 'Mental Contrasting' blog). By working on these steadily, you will work up to achieving that longer term goal.
To put this into a practical activity, you can create a goal mapping structure. So take out a large notebook, at the top draw a large circle, and in it, write down your long term 'outcome goal'. Next, draw 2 circles side by side in the centre of the page, and draw a line connecting these two circles to the top one. In these, write down your mid-level goals, which are essentially staging posts for the long term goal. So say your outcome goal is in a year's time, what would you want to achieve in 6 months time that tie's in with it.
Then finally, draw 4 circles at the bottom of the page, and draw lines connecting 2 of these to one of the mid-level goal circles above it. Then give thought to what could be your process goals, and write them in. These should be fairly simply, but need to be purposeful and have a small element of challenge so you still have to put effort into them, maybe even slightly out of your comfort zone.
So these could be for example; - Number of gym sessions to hit every week - Number of steps to achieve daily - Drinking 3 litres of water every day - Tracking calorie intake daily
These will be specific to you, and your goals.
But have a go at this and see what difference it makes to your mindset, and to your performance.
Feel free to share with me what your outcome goal is and your process goals. And if you need any advice with it or help with them, please do get in touch with me.