My 3 best mental hacks I used to crush all my running (and personal) goals in 2016 [use it in 2017!]

Your mindset is the key!

How great will you feel when you’ll be able to look back on your year and confidently say – ‘yep, I completely crushed it!’ Try to answer honestly, did you say it to yourself as we were nearing the end of 2016?

Many people don’t even bother to reflect on their achievements as they wrap up the entire year. For a passionate runner and an athlete, self-reflection is an absolute must.

I’ll try not to brag (maybe just a little), but year 2016 was amazing for me. I stayed injury free and I pushed myself to the limit. The feeling of achieving something you set out to do a year ago feels great. This post is about sharing with you how I got there, because you can do it too. Regardless of whether there is a PB you want to hit, a goal in relation to weight loss, or whether you simply want to stay consistent. You can do it with these tips.

We all know that achieving optimal performance starts with the right mindset. So I’ll be sharing with you my 3 psychological hacks that helped me to get out there every day, and improve just by a tiny bit at a time.

How to get consistent: You need to fall in love with running (again)!

Can’t be bothered again? I hope not too many people fall into this category! But the fact is, that sometimes you just don’t really feel like getting out there and train. No matter how great you feel while running, starting is often the hardest part. So here is what I do. I have two strategies to trick my mind AND body into being in the most optimal state.

In terms of my body, I make sure I stay as comfortable as I can. This doesn’t include only high-quality running shoes and other essential equipment, but also the right accessories. As an ex-basketball player, I often default to a lot of basketball shorts. This is of course not the best for my running workouts, as basketball apparel tends to be slightly long and have no pockets. So I decided to use a simple running belt to store all my items and to make my life generally much easier. I was amazed how adding a tiny bit of extra comfort improved my overall running experience.

Secondly, when I hit my lows, I trick my brain by repeating the following 2 things in my mind: the reasons for why I need to train on the given day, and how will it help me to improve. Like with almost everything, all the sweat and blood when we are down there in the trenches can prevent us from seeing the big picture. Make sure you keep your eyes on the prize.

Set (almost) realistic goals

‘Set realistic goals for yourself!’ Sounds like a cliché, and it is – because it’s true. Unrealistic goals are not only naturally unattainable, but also extremely demotivating. However, I believe that your goals should be a little on the wild side, but not so much that it will be impossible to attain. Dreaming big in the right way is something we don’t do. Is it because we are scared of failure? Some people set their goals so ambitious, that it’s almost like a set-up for an nevitable failure. “I was never going to make it” is certainly not the mindset of winners. Identify whether you tend to set your goals too low or too high and adjust them, to make them only slightly unrealistic (but attainable with extra hard work!). Once you do this, make sure you stay consistent.

Join a running group

Being a part of a community of people with similar interests is extremely powerful in reaching your goals and elevating your mental state. Here are my top 7 reasons why you must join a running club, and how you will benefit both physically and mentally:

  • You’ll tap into the expertise and advice of others
  • You’ll instantly gain accountability buddies
  • You’ll expand your horizons in relation to running
  • Your motivation is likely to increase once you see how others crush their goals
  • You’ll be able to give back to the running community and help out newbies
  • You’ll share your ups and downs with others, making the journey much more enjoyable
  • Running Clubs are great fun!

Wrapping it up

So there you have it. I covered the best 3 tips that helped me to crush my goals in 2016, whether in relation running or other spheres of my life. The underlying principles still apply: you need to love what you do, you need to set (almost) realistic goals because if you fail, you’ll still do pretty good. Lastly, you need to connect with like-minded peers and tap into the benefits provided by groups of people with shared interests.

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