The New Year is a great way to get started with some new dreams and new goals.  There is hope and optimism when a calendar year starts over.  Those who have concrete goals or dreams begin the year like gangbusters…then for many, the usual mindset and behaviours creep in and things go back to the way they were, or worse.

In doing a bit of research on cognitive behaviour, I’ve stumbled across some very interesting information that can definitely help to create massive shifts in outcomes for our adult and student athletes.  There are plenty of examples of how I myself have failed over my lifetime.  There are also a few ways that I’ve seen others fail over the years in sport, training and academics.

I hate talking about failures and the ways that people always end up sabotaging themselves, but you have to understand where you’ve come from and why you’re not successful in order to address the issues and blaze a new path to personal prosperity.


  1. Negative Filtering– Choosing to focus on what’s not working for you, rather than what IS working.  This mindset entitles you to perceive and interpret reality based on a flawed, negative perspective, and prevents us from seeing things clearly.
  2. Jumping to Conclusions– Assuming something will happen, just based on past experiences can be very negative.  Conclusions based on personal feelings or opinions are typically detrimental, rather than basing opinions on facts and evidence.  As an example: “I’m never going to make that team”, or “I’ll never be a size 6 again”.
  3. Personalization- Taking the blame for everything that goes wrong in your life can be admirable, but can also be very unhelpful if we end of feeling like a victim of circumstance.  You should question which part you played in the outcome, and how you might not be entirely to blame.
  4. Black and White Thinking- Seeing things as “All or Nothing”.  I’m good at something, or I’m bad at something.  In other words, we only see the extremes of the situation.  This is a biased way to to think, and prevents us from seeing things in a neutral way.  Challenge yourself to take other viewpoints of the situation.
  5. Catastrophizing- Do you blow things out of proportion?  You may make things out to be a lot worse than they actually are.  In order to successfully work through this distortion, question whether things are really as bad as how you make them out to be.  Does your knee really hurt that bad, or is your schedule really that full?  Take control by understanding that what you may deem as a huge issue, may be fairly insignificant and easily corrected.


By Identifying some possible ways that you may self-sabotage and fail in reaching your goals for 2019, you can face them head on, and take actions to make changes that will positively affect your outcomes.

Have a great holiday season!