New Year, New Me. What does that even mean?

Words by: Cameron Smith and Mike Shaw

Hello friends,

2020 is here and we have entered a new decade! At this time of year, you’re probably reflecting on the past year (or maybe the past ten) and thinking about the year ahead (or the next ten).

Are you setting new goals? What about the ever-daunting New Year’s resolution? 

Most of us share the desire to be better in the coming year than we were in the last—at whatever it is we do. You might set goals for your sport. You might want to be more focused or more present, more often. You might desire more freedom to do what you love to do. Whatever the case, achieving goals doesn’t happen without effort. Relying on our old patterns won’t work, we need to work on new habits and change our behaviour. 

“New Year, New Me” means working on your habits and changing your behaviour.

Your habits, or what you automatically do, are your default patterns. Once you develop a skill to the level of habit-strength, your behaviour will always fall back to the default. But beware, this is also the case when it’s a bad habit like moving without looking. That’s why it’s crucial to build good performance-related habits with eyes-on-task. 

You can work on habits like drinking more water, improving nutrition, decreasing phone usage, meditating more, getting better sleep, training harder, etc. etc. However, if you want to improve your focus and awareness to get better at your sport, you need to start working on specific habits.

Developing a habit like moving your eyes first before you move, will help you improve eyes-on-task, which is especially important in the year 2020 (insert 2020 vision pun here). Getting your eyes back on task quickly if you’ve been distracted is also an essential habit to develop.

Why is it hard to change your behaviour?

When trying to work on any new behaviour, it’s easy to become complacent over time and stop putting in as much effort as we did at the beginning—this just so happens to be part of the reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail—we stop putting in the required effort. Our behaviour then falls back to our default pattern or the way we’ve always done things. 

During the first few days or weeks working on a new habit, it may seem like you’re making good progress. But how long does it take for your behaviour to shift back to the old ways? 

Usually, not very long. 

So, it would be best if you kept working at it until you are sure the new habit becomes your default pattern. On average it takes just over two months of consistent effort to form a new habit and depending on the behaviour or the person it can take longer.

Keep Practicing

Good habits with eyes-on-task become imperative when you find yourself in a state like rushing, frustration, fatigue, complacency, extreme joy, excitement, sorrow, or panic. Your behaviour when in these states always falls back on your habits or your default pattern.

2020 Vision

For the year ahead, we challenge you to start working on your habits so that you can effectively shift your behaviour and perform at a higher level. It’ll take a bit of effort, but we can all get better at looking before moving or getting our eyes back on task quickly when we’ve been distracted. Developing good habits with eyes-on-task is key to your success. 

Good luck, and get it done in 2020!!

In previous articles, we talked about the awareness/complacency continuum and how it affects our ability to focus. But when you introduce states like rushing, frustration, and fatigue, they can compound and increase your risk of error. So, you may want to read about ways to fight fatigue with better sleep or how you can use frustration to your advantage. If you haven’t read them yet, check out the articles. They will give you a few additional ways to enhance focus with eyes and mind on the task. 

Thanks for reading!

~ The HeadStartPro Team

For more info on HeadStartPro, the Critical Error Reduction Techniques, a full list of performance-related habits, and other strategies for achieving peak performance check out our online courses for coaches and athletes:

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