Whenever you are attempting to achieve a goal, its important to understand that if you don’t have the correct habits installed to reach these goals, they probably wont ever get fulfilled. If your goal is to hit .400 this year, but you aren’t in the habit of staying after practice to take extra batting practice. Or your goal is to gain 15 pounds of muscle but you’re not in the habit of eating every three hours and lifting heavy weights consistently, again you probably wont gain that weight. It just remains as an idea in your head, and will remain that way until you are willing to take action.
Become aware of what the required habit is
When setting a goal imagine what habits would be best for allowing the goal to come natural. It is usually best to think of what daily habit that you can choose, especially for larger goals that require time and patience
When a new habit is formed its best to keep it simple. Adding new things to the habit can come later as the habit becomes more ingrained into our daily or weekly routine.
If you goal is to make less than 5 errors this year at shortstop then a good example would be to commit yourself to take 25 extra ground balls a day after practice. If you can install this habit into your daily routine, having a high fielding % is a done deal.
Simply ask yourself, what habit can I choose that will make whatever goal I want to accomplish to be a given? A done deal. If you are able to condition yourself to maintain these habits, achieving you goal will more often than not be accomplished.
Be specific with your habit
While implementing this new habit, be as specific as possible. Describe to yourself, when, where, and how you will demonstrate this new habit. If you are going to gain 15 pounds of muscle, specify when you will work out. Write down a list of all the foods you will eat throughout the day. (To gain muscle mass you need close to 1.5 grams of protein for every pound you weigh: so if you are 150 pounds you need a little over 200 grams of protein). Specify what work outs you will do to gain weight. Also important, identify why this is your goal. Becoming aware of why you want to achieve a goal gives you a new perspective of the path you are on and gives you new motivation to take action.
Deciding for how long this new habit will be implemented is the most important component of all. Usually when I am in the process of establishing a new habit, I go for a 30 day trial. If you can do anything for 30 days straight, you have incredible focus and the desired result will be accomplished. I can’t count how many times I have failed a 30 day trial, but I have kept going. When I wanted to lean up more while simultaneously gaining 10 pounds of muscle, I tried a 30 day trial of not eating refined sugar, drinking only water, and eating 3,000 calories a day. The most difficult part was the sugar, and eating every three hours, but after about 10 days I felt invigorated. I had more energy and the motivation to accomplish this habit and develop more positive ones.
It’s not a must to do thirty 30 trials. Start simple. Go for a week or two of implementing a habit, then build momentum off of that.
Whether it’s on field habits that you are changing (nutrition, sleep patterns, time management) or on field habits (shortening your stride or keeping your hands inside). You have to be willing to have a learning curve to implement these habits. Habits are hardly ever formed over night. They ask for you to have a clear concept of what you want to accomplish before any progress can be felt.
When it comes to new hitting habits, it takes close to a thousand swings for a new habit to become naturally implemented (which is why practice is so important). As for a bad habit, sense they happen most times unconsciously, they take a lot less time to form, so hard work is a necessity, as well as the ability to work smart.