Have you ever wanted to achieve a big goal, but found yourself intimidated, discouraged or unfocused? Maybe you know what you want, but you’re unsure of how to get there…or even whether you can?
I have struggled lately with some of those issues myself. That’s why I was happy to find out about a new book, The Athlete Mindset Workbook, by Terry Orlick, Ph.D.; Leslie Lewis and Fatima Leite Kusch. It is billed as “a practical step-by-step sports psychology guide for making your dreams a reality.”
While this book is targeted to athletes, the practical strategies presented can apply to any dream you have in life. It came along at the perfect time for me, as I have been contemplating some personal and professional goals and struggling with how to articulate them. I’d also been wanting to create a vision board for a while, and lo and behold, the book talks about that, too!
A soft-cover book, it is 130 pages, large print, and a very easy read. Many pages are short questionnaires, with leading questions and plenty of space to write your answers. Each section builds upon the next. If you follow the steps in sequence, you’ll end up with a roadmap to achieving your goals — and a better understanding of yourself.
I remember clearly the day I first sat down with this book. It was an early Saturday morning, and I thought I’d just give it a quick scan to see what it was about. Well, that didn’t happen — because I could not put this book down! I grabbed paper and pen, and started writing down my answers to the questions. I was so excited to see where this process would lead that I didn’t want to stop. It really got me thinking concretely about my goals, my motivation and what I really wanted, and the challenges I’d been experiencing and what to do about that. When I was done answering most of the questions and looking over my notes, I was amazed and energized. That morning I got through about 75% of the book!
The chapters and exercises include Goal Setting on the Journey to Excellence, Finding Your Best Focus, Clearing the Obstacles to Excellence, and Your Map on Your Journey to Excellence, among others. There are also suggestions for growing your confidence, and a number of other resources.
Later, I started putting together my vision board — pictures that represent things I want to achieve. Since I’m still figuring out some of these things, I’d been struggling to create a vision board. But then I decided that even if I don’t know everything yet, I can put what I do know on there, and can add to it later on when I have more specifics. I’m so glad I did that! No longer stuck in the process, now I have a vision board that really speaks to me and is primed for growth. I keep it in my bedroom and look at it every morning and night. It helps remind me that I’m on my way to achieving what I want.
After finishing the book, I had a couple of questions for the authors, which I wanted to share with you.
Q1: The book seems to be based on having very specific goals and mapping a plan to get there. But what if you’re still trying to figure some of that out? Any tips on how to decide on specific goals when you are forming some ideas but are still unclear and are trying to figure out exactly what your destination should be?
Answer: First, it’s good to remember that the goals are there to serve YOU––not the other way around. Therefore it’s OK to experiment and modify them as you learn more about what’s truly inspiring for you.
In the Athlete Mindset Workbook, we distinguish between Dream Goals and Realistic Goals and there are different ways you could approach both.
Don’t feel you have to settle on your Dream Goal immediately. You should allow yourself to truly dream, perhaps by beginning to notice what inspires you most in magazines, movies, TV shows, or daily life. Let things percolate a bit until you find the expressions that feel most authentic and juicy for you.
After you have your Dream Goal, you can begin to define Realistic Goals, those that are completely within your control and feel achievable. Let yourself sit with the possibilities you come up with, checking in with yourself if they also feel inspiring but attainable.
Most importantly, try to have some fun with the process!
I came to realize that in wanting certain things so badly, perhaps I was rushing the process. Doing so was leading to my increased frustration and impatience, which isn’t a good place to be. Read: “When to Stop Trying So Hard.”
Q2: Any suggestions on how to find a mentor?
Answer: First, we suggest clearly identifying what areas you think you need mentoring in and then seeking out individuals who are masters in those arenas.
Your request will be much more powerful if you can tell someone exactly why you think they might be able to help you with your goals rather than just a vague, all-encompassing request.
Secondly, look first within your personal contacts and those of your friends and colleagues. A personal introduction is definitely best but not always necessary.
In fact, mentors are often more accessible than people first think.
For one thing, most people appreciate being asked to be a mentor, knowing it’s the most sincere compliment possible. Even if the person isn’t available, they might make some other good suggestions.
We would frame your request by first sharing the successes you’ve already had––demonstrating that you’re someone who is already well on her way––but then highlighting where you’d like to grow and why you’re requesting help from them specifically.
Finally, remember that mentoring can take many different forms, ranging from a daily email check-in to a monthly phone call. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, full-time project for either of you to be of tremendous benefit. Be sensitive to the person you’re asking’s time and also open to possibilities, confident that there will be some mentor situation that would work beautiful for both of you.
If, like me, you have goals or a dream you would like to make a reality, I highly recommend getting this book and doing all of the exercises. I really believe you will be glad that you did!
For more information, see http://athletemindsetworkbook.com. The book is available from Amazon.
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The publisher is offering Healthy Beauty readers a chance to win a copy of The Athlete Mindset Workbook! Enter once each day for more chances to win!
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I was provided a book to review. Regardless, reviews always reflect my honest opinion. This post contains an affiliate link.
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