Olympic athlete and Sheffield Hallam Animation student, Peter Bakare, has some top advice for personal motivation and achievement… Take it away Peter!
OK! Too many people go to school or the gym without an idea of what they want out of it. Whether it be losing body fat, gaining muscle mass, running a faster lap of the athletics track or revising for an exam, setting goals helps you keep focused and engaged in whatever you do. A goal in sight enables you to tailor your lifestyle in order to achieve. For example, changing something in your diet and workouts for a physical goal or how you approach your studies to achieve your expected grades.
When setting a goal you can always be a little ambitious. For example, “Next year I want to make the national team”. In your eyes, at this moment, this may seem a little farfetched and unachievable. But, this is a long-term goal and it’s never going to happen overnight. Once you have your long-term goal in mind, you’ll need to break it down into lots of smaller steps to make it happen.
Each step adds up to the completion of your long-term goal. Draft long-term goals, and then institute short-term steps to achieve them. Plan them out step-by-step so you have a tiered plan of attack. Whether you want better grades, stronger lifts, new friends, or better nutrition, you should build short-term, achievable steps that will lead you to success.
If you are an athlete, chances are you are already goal orientated or a competitive individual who will do what’s necessary to reach a target. If your goal is to improve your grades then translate your competitiveness to the classroom and dominate those papers ‘like a boss’. Set aside some time at night to read and understand your days’ work.
Many people ask if there are any shortcuts to achieve what they want, faster or with less effort. And yes, there are shortcuts, but they are not worth it. See it as cheating in an exam and getting a grade you didn’t work for. Short-term, it may feel good getting a higher grade, but ultimately, you weren’t the person who achieved it.
Take accountability when assessing your goals. Make them a passion. Tell your friends, family, teachers and coaches what your goals are and you’ll be surprised by the amount of help you will receive. There are support officers at your universities, whether it be counsellors or lifestyle coaches, to help structure your day-to-day activities in order to make your long-term goals achievable.
Surround yourself with people with similar goals and interests to help stay motivated. Partner with someone who is at a similar level and has the same or similar targets. Working with someone will help you stay focussed, and enable you to push yourself harder. Good Luck!