In the movie Top Gun, Tom Skerritt, tells the fighter pilots, “You are the best of the best, the elite,” and “we’ll make you even better.” Top Gun made them better fighter pilots, by flying, not by trying to make them fisherman or painters.
Use this top gun technique for goals. Too often however, we set goals addressing an area where we really struggle. This rarely works. Over 50% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first six weeks. Typically, most people set goals to change, which are usually on areas we already feel bad about ourselves, the worse part, and we start from a point of “I am no good.”
The purpose of setting goals is to improve and this occurs through gaining confidence and momentum. If you want to beat the odds, try this technique instead… Improve upon your greatest strength.
For instance, my weakness is multi-tasking. I would “like” to get better at stopping it, but come on’, I do it too much already. So, instead, I am setting my goals, based upon my strengths of discipline, sport psychology, and creativity. The goals I set are based upon “I rock at this stuff.”
If we try to address our biggest weakness, even if we succeed, then we’ve really only improved to the level of “kind of bad.” But, more than likely, half way through the six-week process, we’ll stumble, begin to make excuses, and feel bad as a result.
We do much better in life, using our existing strengths to improve. Confidence is a powerful tool in sports and in life, because when things are going well, we are more energized, positive, and relaxed. When we have momentum, we “keep doing what we’re doing.”
The purpose of setting goals is progress, not perfection. Thus, improve on your greatest strength. Make your greatest strength your greatest strength. Find small ways to improve by doing what you already do, but “making it even better.”
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness