|Published: January 6, 2012
Jennifer Selby Long, Selby Group
How to Put Your Resolution in Play Now
Resolutions are great, but only if we act on them. By this stage in your career, resolutions are at least 50% head game, if not 80% or more. Let’s borrow our tools, then, from the ultimate head game: The Olympics. Think about it. At this level, every athlete is the best in the world. It’s not about talent. It’s about the head game.
I’d like to extend a big thank-you to Dr. Roberta Kraus, Olympic sports psychologist, for teaching me this technique way back in the day. I still use it almost 20 years later. Just for the record, she did not teach me this because I was an Olympic athlete. She taught me this because I was a leader who wanted to integrate the best techniques from every discipline into my work. (Yeah, that’s kind of boring by comparison, isn’t it….)
When you’re having trouble with a particular performance (say, you repeatedly clam up in important meetings) or you just want to improve a skill (like putting), give it a try.
There are five steps and I do recommend that you do them all:
- Pre-Performance: This is like a rehearsal. Go through the entire performance in your mind, as close to real time as you can get within the confines of your schedule.
- Pre-Act: immediately before the performance, visualize the performance as if on fast forward
- Post-Act: immediately after the performance, remember the performance as if on fast forward
- Post-Performance: remember the performance more slowly, analyzing how you did and identifying any needed changes in your performance
To get the most value from the visualization process, try the following:
- Visualize yourself in the actual room, on the putting green – wherever you will be performing.
- Imagine the entire situation with vividness and clarity.
- Imagine the feel of the action, what it would really be like to be in the meeting or on that putting green right now.
- This is not an exercise in perfectly predicting the future – just take reasonable guesses about what will happen, what others will say and do, how they will respond, etc.
- Succeed mightily during the rehearsal. If you start to fail in the rehearsal, rewind and do the failing part over until you are successful.
- Take a few deep breaths before visualization and again before the performance to relax. Unclench your fists, too.
- The night before the event and the morning of the event, relive your best previous performance. If you have not yet had a successful performance, relive a different successful performance that is in some way similar.
Use this technique for one resolution. Then tell me how it goes!
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