Setting and visualising goals can help us accomplish things that may otherwise feel out of reach. Helen Jomoa explains how to set and achieve your summer fitness goals.

Imagine you are a netballer playing at the Commonwealth Games. Your position is goal shooter and your key job is to score goals. You have focused on the Commonwealth Games for a long time and done what was necessary to get there. Finally you are here, in this moment you have visualised over-and-over in your head: the ball travelling in slow motion towards the goal, the roar of the crowd, sweat dripping down your face, lungs bursting, heart racing… you score!

It seems so easy when we watch someone else achieve, but not so easy when we try it ourselves. Here are a few tips to help you get started on scoring your very own fitness goals this summer.

What is your fitness goal?

Make your goal clear. What do you really want to achieve this summer? For example you may want to run your first half marathon in February 2018 or lose 5kg by Christmas.

What will you gain by achieving your goal?

What will make your goal really worth going for? You may want to feel better and improve your health; however general statements like this don’t always work. Use really specific, positive wording like: “I want to feel really confident and comfortable in my favourite pair of jeans.” Avoid the negative alternative like: “I don’t want to feel cut-in-half by my waistband.”

What will I lose if I achieve my goal?

Try not to skip this part because this is the Big Kahuna. Why can’t you stop yourself skipping the gym in favour of a sleep in? We often can’t reach our goals, because at the unconscious level, there is something sabotaging them, for example, our fear of change. We are all very good at having a long list of excuses why not to do something, which is precisely why we need to have a longer and more convincing list of why we do want to do it. Once you know the benefits your goal can give you outweigh the losses, you can start the exciting phase of making it happen.

Break your goal down into small enough chunks. It is easy to get overwhelmed so break it down into stages. For example in the first week you could: join the gym, book a personal trainer and plan your cycle route to work.

Take responsibility for yourself

Achieving your goal can’t be dependent on other people. Keep it within your control. Make sure it is something you can directly influence and maintain.

How will you know when your goal has been realised?

How will you know when you have achieved the outcome and how will you measure it? Set a timeline – whether it is week-to-week or month-to-month – so you can track your progress.

Visualise it

See yourself achieving it. What will you see, hear and feel when you have it? Use all of your sensory power to visualise it. Summer is coming which means there’s no better time for action. Get started today, because ‘big shots’ are only ‘little shots’ for those who keep shooting.