Final push

TV presenter, author and journalist Rebecca Charlton meets the experts who will help you get over that final hurdle to achieve your #MySummerGoal

Deciding to go for a new goal and step into the unknown is incredibly motivating, but what about when you’re approaching that final hurdle? By now you’ll be near to the end of completing your challenge and it can start to feel tough to get there. Here are five tips and tricks to help you push on through those barriers and realise your #MySummerGoal.

1. Share with others

Talking about the obstacle you’re facing is often the most effective way of breaking it down.

“If you’re nervous about a race or event, it’s better to talk to somebody about it and not bottle things up,” says world and Commonwealth road cycling champion Lizzie Deignan. “Everybody’s been there. Try to think about logic over emotion and whatever you’re doing, enjoy it. Even in my position as a pro, if I lose a race, the world still turns. That doesn’t mean you don’t try, but you have to keep perspective.”

For the rest of us, this is great advice. Talk to a friend who has a similar goal or who is particularly motivating and you can break it down together.

2. Look back, as well as forward

“Remind yourself of how far you’ve come,”says Sarah Broadhead, a chartered psychologist and director of sport at the Chimp Management Company. “Looking back at what you’ve already achieved and the progress you’ve made is something we often forget to do. Break the remainder of the goal down into chunks, so it seems less daunting. Think of the reward that got you started in the first place.”

3. Get on social media

It’s easy to forget sometimes that social media can be a force for good in our lives. Making your goal pledge online as part of #MySummerGoal is a fantastic start, but you can push it even further by sharing how far you’ve come on social media. You’ll be surprised how many people give you words of encouragement that help to keep you motivated.

Each person’s source of motivation varies, but telling others about your goal (and how close you are to reaching it) can mean you’re more likely to stick to it. Not only that, but you may find a whole new network of supporters.

“Use that social support,” says Broadhead. “Get others involved in the goal, or tell them you’re struggling – they will often help drive you to the line.”

4. Take motivation from your other passions

If your motivation is waning, life coach and author Caroline Jalango recommends taking time to re-focus on other activities that make you feel good and give you a burst of energy. Then use it to get you through the final push.

“When you’re in an environment that boosts your enthusiasm, you feel motivated,” says Jalango. “Spend at least two hours during this week engaging in an inspiring activity – whether that’s browsing at the bookshop, going to a concert or heading to the beach for the day. Then use that energy to work on your goal.”

We all need a break from time to time and focusing on something different allows our bodies and minds to absorb all the hard work.

5. Use positive self-talk and visualise success

Your mind has an incredible amount of power over your body and visualising is a proven technique among athletes. So why shouldn’t it work for you?

“A visualisation technique I always use is to imagine how proud my family would be at the end,” says cyclist and Commonwealth silver medallist Charline Joiner. “I really feel those feelings as if it was happening.”

For that final push, also try focusing on what you’re saying to yourself – listen to the words you’re using to describe your experience and, if they seem negative, change them. For example “I can’t” becomes “I’m doing it”, and “I have to” becomes “I want to”.

Research shows that what you tell yourself can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Choose a phrase or mantra to boost your confidence and remember to use it often.

It isn’t too late to make your own #MySummerGoal pledge. Visit now and set yourself a summer challenge.

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