Top 10 Basketball Coaches New Year’s Resolution Ideas
As you reflect over your last year’s new year’s resolutions that were made with great intentions and enthusiasm, what comes to mind? Loss of interest? Success? Burnout?
One thing is for sure, you are one year older and you may be looking at a doctor’s report of your latest annual physical that doesn’t appear to be so favorable. Usually, this is a result of not following through on your resolutions, poor goal-setting, or just setting the wrong goals.
Having a plan of action before the new year hits and executing it can have a profound effect on your health, energy, relationships and coaching performance.
To make new year’s resolutions permanent, they MUST become a lifestyle.
Willpower is like a house that is built without a foundation; seldom if ever, will it survive a challenging situation.
Willpower will never stand the test of temptation and unrealistic goals.
SMART Goals To Reduce Coaching Stress
This is where lifestyle change has to be considered. If lasting change is to occur, S.M.A.R.T. goals (pp. 35-52) are essential. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-based (you can see yourself performing the goal), Realistic, and Timely. Any goal that meets these requirements has a great groundwork for success. Having a friend or family member holding you responsible for what you say you are going to do increases your chances of making your behavioral goals, lifestyle changes. This is where desire meets accountability, a recipe for success. This formula can also be used for coaching, individual player development, and team goals.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal + Your Values (attached to your goal) + Accountability + Desire to Change = ULTIMATE SUCCESS
When setting S.M.A.R.T. goals it is imperative to write out 2-4 weekly goals that are in line with your broader three-month goals. Your three-month goals should be leading you in the direction of reaching your vision. For example, if your health vision is to be active on the court with your players for the next 10+ years, a three-month goal may be: I will play in full-court, pick-up basketball games for 30 minutes with my players, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00AM. A first week weekly goal that will help you reach that three-month goal may be: I will play in half-court, pick-up basketball games for 30 minutes with my players on Monday and on Friday at 8:00AM. The three-month and weekly goals both start with “I will” and are specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, and set within a time-frame.
The following list of new year’s resolution suggestions are meant to help generate ideas and help create a plan of action. Each one of them can be performed before, during, or after your basketball season if your goals are designed to meet your desired outcome. Health related resolutions are formed under the Five Pillars of Health so that they will all affect each other directly. Do not set your goal(s) haphazardly. Follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting guidelines above and you will experience an improvement in coaching performance with a life-giving, health-promoting, and energy-boosting lifestyle change. It is important to note that weight loss should not be a stated goal, it is a result of meeting your goals. So, if you desire to lose weight, set other goals that will help you reach that outcome.
At the end of each suggestion an example of a health vision (a picture of your best self), a three-month goal (what you would like to be doing consistently three months from now), and a weekly goal (a step towards meeting your three-month goal) is given. Create only one health vision and set no more than 2-4 monthly and weekly goals. Comments are made after some of the goals for clarification.
Reduce Coaching Stress With Exercise
Exercise must be performed at the recommended intensity levels in order to increase the different fitness components. These areas of fitness include: cardio-respiratory fitness, localize muscular strength and endurance, balance, and flexibility. This is not to be confused with increasing your physical activity level which will be discussed later.
The desire to look and feel better and be healthier tops the most popular new year’s resolution list every year. Most people believe that this is accomplished by upping the exercise routine. Due to its uncomfortableness, time requirement, and benefits not equaling the perceived sacrifices made, it often gets pushed to the side a month or two after the new year begins. To help prevent this from happening, design your exercise goals so that you start slow and progress over time. This will lead to tremendous benefit and will become part of your daily routine.
Health Vision – I want to be able to get on the court and play the game I love with my players throughout my coaching career.
Three-Month Goal – I will play an hour of basketball Monday through Friday at 8:00am at my school’s gymnasium. Comment: Playing the game I love will help me reach the level of fitness I want to achieve three months into this goal.
Weekly Goal – I will play basketball on Monday and Thursday for 30 minutes each day at my school’s gymnasium.
Eliminate Added Sugar from Your Diet
Added sugar has so many negative effects on your health and energy levels that any effort to remove it completely from your dietary intake will show immediate results. Although very challenging, eliminating added sugar will help you lose weight, reduce aches and pains in joints and with headaches, lower your chances of developing insulin resistance and type II diabetes, increase your energy level, improve your gut health, immune function and overall inflammatory markers, and reduce your appetite.
Health Vision – I want to be chronic disease and medication-free throughout my life.
Three-Month Goal – I will eat a real food item that I have chosen as a sugar substitute (Sunday – Saturday) whenever I have the urge to eat something sweet.
Weekly Goal – I will choose ten real food item substitutes that contain no added sugar on Wednesday at 12:00pm. Comment: This goal will help me identify healthy foods that I enjoy that I can eat on a regular basis that contain no added sugar.
Quit Smoking As A Coach
If you currently smoke (and yes, this includes vaping), stop, now! This inflammatory behavior is setting the stage for all kinds of problems down the road such as, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and stroke, asthma, diabetes, loss of vision, ulcers, aging skin, osteoporosis, gum disease, and reproductive problems. Finding a smoking cessation program that you will be successful with would be a great S.M.A.R.T. goal to start with, just make sure to follow through and kick those cigarettes to the curb.
A smoking cessation program will provide the needed step by step process to eliminate your smoking habit. Therefore, following your program’s direction, an example may look something like this:
Health Vision – I want to be physically active and disease free throughout my adult years.
Three-Month Goal – I will follow my program’s direction and be exactly where it says I should be at the three month mark.
Weekly Goal – I will research and choose a smoking cessation program on Tuesday at 10:00am. Comment: This goal will help me overcome the inertia of eliminating my smoking habit once and for all.
Eliminate Dairy from Your Diet
Another area of your dietary intake that you may want to address is dairy, especially if you have known intolerances to eggs, milk, or cheese. Dairy is known to be inflammatory and can lead to allergies and gut issues. Performing a food allergy test may help detect some problems you may have, but they are not always 100% accurate. The gold standard for identifying specific foods that may be causing you problems is found in the elimination diet where you remove foods and slowly add them back into your diet over time. This could generate some great new year’s resolution goals if you are currently experiencing gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and/or other digestive problems.
Eliminating dairy is important if you believe you are lactose-intolerant or are experiencing a dairy allergy. If you have removed it entirely from your diet and your symptoms persist, then it may be okay to add it back in to your diet.
Health Vision – I want to feel great and be full of energy well into my elderly years.
Three-Month Goal – I will eat a real food item that I have chosen as a dairy substitute (Sunday – Saturday) whenever I have the urge to consume dairy.
Weekly Goal – I will choose ten real food items that I will substitute for dairy products on Wednesday at 12:00pm. Comment: This goal will help me identify healthy foods that I enjoy that I can eat on a regular basis.
Quit Drinking Alcohol As A Coaching Stress Reliever
Eliminating or reducing the amount of alcohol you consume can lead to an improvement in your health, weight, and your relationships depending upon the amount that you are currently drinking. Alcohol is known to disrupt your sleep, slow weight loss, cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver disease, pancreatitis, ulcers and gastro-intestinal problems, and create immune system dysfunction. Setting goals that include participating in other stress outlets can help you avoid the temptation to escape your coaching stress with alcohol. S.M.A.R.T. goals should be written to describe what behavior you will be performing, not what you won’t be doing.
Health Vision – I want to enjoy all of the health and relationship benefits of being completely alcohol-free for the rest of my life.
Three-Month Goal – I will drink a non-alcoholic drink (Sunday – Saturday) whenever I have the urge to consume alcohol.
Weekly Goal – I will choose/identify five non-alcoholic drinks that I can drink in lieu of alcohol on Thursday at 4:00pm. Comment: Making a list and keeping it by my side will enable me to be ready whenever temptation rears its ugly head.
Reconnect with Your Spouse Away From Basketball
Connecting with your spouse is essential in maintaining a happy and healthy marriage, especially if you are in a period of disconnect. Making your marriage a priority can be a challenge when the demands of coaching your basketball team are in full go-mode. Regardless of what is standing in the way a strong, healthy relationship requires work on both partner’s part. Goal ideas you may want to consider include: creating daily/nightly rituals, scheduling regular date nights, daily check-ins, regularly helping with chores around the house, writing him/her a love letter, reading something together, sending him/her a sexy text, and whatever else that may draw the two of you closer together.
Health Vision – I want to enjoy all that a relationship with my spouse is meant to be. This includes both emotional and physical intimacy.
Three-Month Goal – I will connect with my spouse Sunday through Saturday by 9:00pm with one of the ways I have found to do so.
Weekly Goal – I will choose/identify ten ways that I can connect with my spouse Saturday at 2:00pm. Comment: This list will give me direction in reconnecting with my spouse.
Increase Your Level of Physical Activity Outside of Working Out
This sounds a lot like exercise, but it isn’t. It simply means, move more; sit less. If the sitting down portion of your life can be spent standing or moving around instead if sitting, then by all means move. Research indicates that sitting for long periods has serious health consequences. One study found that sitting for too long could lead to early death. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals that get you up and moving every 15-30 minutes can go a long way in improving your health and therefore, your coaching performance.
Health Vision – I want to be healthy and active the rest of my life.
Three-Month Goal – I will stand up from my desk and walk around for 5 minutes at the beginning of every hour while at work, Monday – Friday.
Weekly Goal – I will stand up from my desk and walk around for 3 minutes at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm while at work on Monday and Friday. Comment: My cellphone alarm will act as a reminder to get up and move around.
Eliminate Processed Foods from Your Diet And Get Near Immediate Impact
Processed foods has had a tremendously unhealthy affect on our lives. Think of it as lab “food.” It’s not really food, it’s just a bunch of chemical holding hands calling themselves a food. The difficulty in removing these “foods” from our diet lies in their benefits: quick, easy, convenient, and inexpensive. Until you truly believe that food matters with regards to your health, you will be less motivated to make a change in this area. Once you know the science behind the health horrors of processed foods, the motivation is easy and the navigation around the “benefits” of processed foods is performed more enthusiastically. A recommended weekly goal in this area would be to learn more about the health hazards of consuming processed foods. This should lead to goals that would include alternative food choices.
Health Vision – I want to feel great, be full of energy, and disease-free the rest of my life.
Three-Month Goal – I will eat a real food item that I have chosen as a processed food substitute (Sunday – Saturday) whenever I am tempted to consume a processed food. Comment: I will accumulate a list of real foods as weekly goals leading up to the three-month mark that will act as processed food substitutes.
Weekly Goal – I will read an article on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00pm on the health hazards of eating processed foods. Comment: Once I complete this goal I will begin a list of real foods that I can eat.
Get 7-9 hours of Sleep and Watch Coaching Patience Rise
Getting the sleep you need is imperative for rest, recovery, and proper brain and body function. Focus and attention are amongst the first to be affected when sleep needs are not being met. This has a direct affect on your coaching performance and how well your team competes. Sleep deprivation has been linked to memory issues, a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, an increase risk in diabetes, weight gain, low sex drive, and heart disease. So, getting enough sleep is imperative to maintaining a high quality of life.
Health Vision – I want to experience clarity in thinking and have a high energy level as I grow older.
Three-Month Goal – I will go to bed at 10:00pm (1-hour earlier than normal) every night (Sunday-Saturday) this week in order to get the eight hours of sleep I need. Comment: This will help me get the rest I need for the long hours of coaching that I have this week.
Weekly Goal – I will go to bed at 10:00pm (1-hour earlier than normal) on Monday night and Wednesday night in order to get the eight hours of sleep I need.
New year’s resolutions focused on stress reduction are some of the most popular made changes that people want to make every year. Learning a new skill, reading more, and taking up a new hobby are just a few ways to help reduce the stress created by coaching your basketball team. Taking a slight hiatus from the events that stress you the most can be just what the doctor ordered. So, spending time identifying activities to help you with your stress management can go a long way in helping keep your stress less harmful to your health.
Health Vision – I want to reduce my stress and enjoy the life-giving experiences that spending time with the people that I love the most can provide.
Three-Month Goals – I will schedule three social get-togethers with one of my children, best friends, and best couple friends on Wednesday at 6:00pm for the following week.
Weekly Goals – GOAL #1 – I will make plans to eat lunch with all three of my children separately at 1:00pm on Friday for the following week.
GOAL #2 – I will schedule hang-out time with my best friend for the following week on Saturday at 2:00pm. Comment: This is one way to reduce stress that will be fun and enjoyable.
Although it is easier to pick only one of these twelve areas to set S.M.A.R.T. goals with, you may find more success in choosing to set goals in several areas. For example, if you desire to lose weight, you may want to include sleeping goals along with dietary ones. In other words, you may not optimize your results by attacking only one area. As you enter the new year’s resolution goal-setting season, look to capitalize on your desire by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals with the understanding this is to be a life-long lifestyle change.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to assist people in improving their basketball coaching performance by living out healthy lifestyle behaviors. It is not intended to prescribe a diet or exercise plan, but to suggest eliminating known unhealthy foods, encourage involvement in a regular exercise program, and stress management techniques. Consult with your nutritionist, licensed physician or healthcare professional before beginning any lifestyle or nutritional program for his or her professional advice and your involvement in it.
Rusty Gregory, MS, CSCS is the coauthor of Living Wheat-Free for Dummies (Wiley Publishing). He received his B.S. (Commercial and Industrial Fitness, Minor in Health Education) in 1989 from Texas Tech University and his M.S. (Kinesiology) in 1991 from the University of Michigan. In 1991, he began his personal training business in Austin, Texas, and became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). In 1995, he opened Forte Personal Fitness, a private personal fitness studio where he trains athletes from a multitude of sports and people of all ages, health backgrounds, and physical limitations. Rusty also serves as an expert for www.BasketballTrainer.com