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Nathan’s 7 tips for successful reflection and building on success

With the end of another season impending, this is an important time to reflect on the obstacles you have faced in the past year, but also the goals you have achieved. We are often good at analysing the problems which have occurred in a season and spend most of our time thinking about that and why we didn’t achieve what we set out to. But are we equally as reflective on our achievements? Is it often a case of goal achieved, celebration, then onward planning to our next target?

Not only is it intrinsically rewarding to look back on the journey towards achieving our goal and giving our self the proverbial ‘pat on the back’, but equally we can learn so much from this journey. This can take our future performances onto another level by reading into the detail.

Here are my 7 tips for successful reflection and building on success:

1. No preparation is perfect. You may have achieved your goal or target but there will be areas to improve on throughout the process. You may have had an injury, had to reduce training because of external factors such as work or family. These may actually be positive factors giving you some rest during a heavy period or indicate areas where changes need to be made.
2. Change is needed for improvement. Constant reassessment and adapting are important for progression. That doesn’t mean you should change everything. Tweaks in a plan that has worked are important to prevent plateau, staleness and to maintain motivation.
3. Progression is only possible by progression. The body and mind need to be deliberately overloaded to ensure progression. But this must only be gradual. You cannot just start from where you finished. Assessing your start and end point of the journey to your goal is vital. You can then build clear progressive plans for future targets.
4. Maintaining motivation. When you reflect on the journey to the completion of your goal, pick out markers that were positive on the way and use them for future preparation.
5. Preparing for obstacles. You may have experienced obstacles on the way but still achieved your goal. How did these affect your mindset and the final outcome? What would you do the same and what would you avoid in the future to protect yourself, prevent or deal with these obstacles?
6. External hurdles and barriers are changeable. Now you built a successful plan towards a goal you will have identified hurdles and barriers on the way. Now is the time to see if these can be changed or managed and reap the future benefits.
7. Doing more isn’t the only variable. So you achieved your goal. If you did more you could do even better? It may seem obvious but so many people make this mistake. Reflect on what went well and look at the other variables where changes could be made. This includes volume, type, time, frequency of training and other factors such as nutrition and kit.
As 2018 draws to a close, celebrate, reflect and welcome in the exciting goals of 2019.