Goals for Winning

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


Feelings of uncertainty are challenging and changing many of the pre-determined ideas we have about ourselves. In the athletic world,attitudes are ever-changing as they relate to the present challenges. Learning to manage change mentally offers more understanding of self and ones’individual abilities.

Goal setting is one of the more challenging aspects of mental development. To better reach goals, a self-understanding is required. Our viewpoints and the way we look at challenges  are mental thoughts coming directly from the mind via a specific brain wave.

Although mental thoughts are your viewpoints, you are distinct from them. You adopt those viewpoints that you find useful. As your challenges change, so then, do your viewpoints as new information or circumstances are presented. Viewpoints tend to remain constant and fully operative unless specific steps are taken to make the change. This flexibility demands full understanding of your personal viewpoints if you are to successfully pursueyour goals.

The primary viewpoints to understand are your attitudes toward failure and success. Wherever the possibility of success exists, so does the opportunity for failure. The result of failure is not a state of being, but rather an act of occurring at a point in time as a consequence surrounding a belief and attitude.

Fear of failure is a paramount obstacle to success. Accompanying the fear of failure is anxiety and mind/body stress. This stress is a product of the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for “running” the body and is influenced by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system it controls. When anxiety is present the body signals the nervous system that action is necessary. The mind sends a message of possible peril and a “fight or flight” state develops this stage has 1500 body change requirements including faster heart beat, secretion of noradrenalin and surges of energy to the muscles. If performance anxiety or fear of failure are themental attitude, the autonomic nervous system readies itself for the battle. At this point, the body loses its readiness to compete at the perfected level training has required.

The brain begins to operate on an alerted level of beta and cycles faster and faster until it is out of control. At this point, allproper training is lost and reflex becomes the “order of the day” attitudes change, loss of control is a reality and poor performance is the outcome.

To guard against loss of control, setting goals is necessary. Goals are set in the following structure:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Long-Term Goal: Winning and keep winning

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Objective Goal: improve daily

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Results Goal: noticeable improvement

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Behaving Goal: Practice


When setting Goals follow this protocol:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Make goals challenging

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Self-positive goals

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Pick a goal that pleases you

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Make goals realistic and achievable

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Commit to set goals

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.    <!–[endif]–>Keep a record of change


The Chrishaven Foundation


Copyright Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved. Posted with permission.