To achieve your skiing goals you first need to understand something about goals. There are many types of goal, and some serve you better than others. They are not all achieved in the most direct way!
Have clear goals in mind, it indisputably really works. In a study, 12,000 people at the age of 17-18 rated “being well off financially” on a four point scale. Nineteen years later each point on this four-point scale was associated with a $14,000 increment in salary.
People who gave it 4 points were better off than those giving it 3, and so on. Now that’s a financial goal of course, and it illustrates the power of clear goals.
One recipe for unhappiness is to set goals that are especially difficult to attain. It is good to have a long-term “dream” goal: an example would be “to be a totally competent expert skier” for example. But that is a background goal, you would be foolish to keep it in the forefront of your mind when you work on your skiing technique
What kind of goal? What level of goal?
To achieve your skiing goals these questions are important. Deep in our psychological selves not achieving a goal is a loss, exceeding a goal is a gain. If you set yourself goals which you repeatedly fall short of, you will do yourself no favours. Nobody achieves happiness, or their goals, if the goals themselves are out of reach. All you do is continually defeat yourself, and that is damaging.
Goals enhance focus and attention. When skiing you help yourself enormously if you have a very simple, very clear goal in mind before each time you set off. I’ve said this repeatedly – one example here
Goal setting requires skill to be done well. One danger is that when you have achieved an immediate goal you may find it induces you to reduce your effort thereafter. A goal held some years ago by the English rugby team – ” to get into the final” – may have been a contributory factor to their achieving that goal, and losing that final match.
To succeed, or to avoid failure?
When your goal is an outcome goal – one with a clear fixed success/failure profile – you may be tempted to set one, too low. The achievement of this can then be classed a success but it won’t get you further forward.
You would be better off in this instance to accept an element of risk – the risk of possible non achievement of your goal and shoot for success rather than avoidance of any “failure”. There is no such thing as failure of course, you just keep going.
But, and it is an important but, if you find that repeatedly you fall short of this “risky” goal – then change the goal. Change it to one a little lower but which is still something of a stretch.
In a huge study of data, top golfers have been shown to putt better when putting to avoid a loss, than when “chancing” it to get a “birdie”. And that is the case no matter the length of the putt, nor the ease of difficulty of it. This is because a loss hurts more than the gain from a win. It’s the same for us skiers.
Skiing goals are great
But only if you know how to set them, how to change them and how to psychologically accommodate them. It’s a topic worth getting to know. There’s more elsewhere on my blog, in my forthcoming videos, and in my book
And also in Goal-setting for Skiing happiness
Good luck with it. Give it some thought. And contact me if you’d like any ideas.