Secrets to Goal Setting in 2024 – Tips I Give Elite Athletes and Executives

As Arizona’s “Performance Psychiatrist,” I help high-achieving, high-profile clients manage stressors and aid in propelling their success from a mental health perspective. Over the past two seasons as the Team Consulting Psychiatrist for the NBA Phoenix Suns and WNBA Phoenix Mercury, I have witnessed the power of goal setting.

As 2024 rapidly approaches, how can you restructure resolutions into creating realistic goals? Well, the first tip I give my A-list clients is to set and create meaningful targets. First and foremost, you must initiate purpose and intention.

Here are 6 goal setting questions and answers I’m often asked when it comes to putting forth plans for success. 
    1. What kind of goals should I create? Create challenging but manageable goals. Formulate actionable objectives. A bad example would be “I want to open a new company this year”, while a good example would be “I would like to have my corporation formed and accounting set up within 30 days”. 
    2. Can you give examples of goal verbiage? Be Specific. Don’t just say “I want to have a profitable business” or “I want to be a better player.” Broad intentions XX. Proper goal setting consists of setting measurable and specific goals. For example: “I want to be x dollars net positive by the end of 2024” or, as I offer my athlete clientele, “I want to have 3 assists in every basketball game.” It’s important to break down larger goals into digestible pieces where you can achieve steady progress.
    3. How should I ensure following through? Keep tabs on your 2024 intentions with a goal journal; writing has a way of manifestation. Also, check-in with yourself regularly, re-visiting your journal, giving yourself notes on progress, and potentially adding more detailed goals as the year progresses. As I do regular check-ins with my athlete clients, I encourage them to reassess and continuously evaluate their personal passage to success. 
    4. I’m too busy and overwhelmed; how can I eliminate distractions and focus on my goals? If you have taken the time to create goals, dedicate time to pursuing them. Schedule time with yourself (and yes, put it in your calendar) to turn your devices on do-not-disturb and set a timer for 30-60 minutes to provide a distraction-free zone. This will facilitate focus. 
    5. What is the optimal timeline for achieving a goal? There’s nothing like the precious present. Sure, it’s timely to goal set now being the beginning of 2024, but know you can goal-set at any point. I encourage my clients to write down three personal, three professional, and three health/wellness goals to give all-around perspective. Then, I recommend revisiting the goals quarterly to ensure you’re on the right track. Remain flexible, because life changes, and you may decide to reprioritize your goals. Allow room for grace and flexibility. 
    6. Is there such thing as too big of a goal? Set yourself up for success. Challenge yourself with goals that have a strong realm of achievable possibility.
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