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Motivation and goal-setting

Many sports people will have begun this year immersed and focused on high-performance goals that may have represented the culmination of years of dedication and commitment. The impact of coronavirus and the cancellation and suspension of competitions and training means that these goals are no longer a daily presence and driving force; and for many, are now unobtainable this year. The sudden loss of this opportunity to achieve your goals combined with isolation, restrictions on social movement, exercise and training can impact your mental well-being.

It’s normal for you to be finding things difficult during the pandemic. While everyone’s experience is different, you may be feeling tired-out or low, or struggling with motivation. ITS OKAY TO STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW. Take each moment and day at a time. Staying motivated seems like an impossible task. Acknowledging such obstacles to motivation, however, is an important step in managing them.

When feeling particularly unmotivated, hammering away at your brain to continue on a task can not only be exhausting, but it can often be completely counterproductive. Sometimes, we just have to switch off, allow time for rest and recovery too.

Adopting self-regulation strategies and adjusting or re-engaging in alternative goals can improve wellbeing through increasing feelings of self-control.

Create a daily structure and If you find yourself struggling on a daily basis, unsure of what to do and how to create structure in your day consider using goal setting principles to an intention across several areas of your life that allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment (see 5R goal setting cycle below). This may be the time to set goals about things you have often said ‘one day I will…’. These goals can centre around:

  • Creating new social networks and maintaining contact

  • Physical wellbeing, for example sleep patterns, nutrition and recovery to name a few

  • Personal development such as learning a new skill, or taking up a hobby

You can use the 5R cycle as a starting point:

1. Reflect – Where am I at?

2. Re-evaluate – What could I do to be even better?

3. Review – What mastery goals will help me

4. Revise – What does my new plan look like

5. Record – Write them down