Forming healthy habits - or kicking unhealthy ones - is something that everyone struggles with at some point in their lives. I became interested in habits and behaviour change at a young age, wondering why it can be so difficult to do something that appears simple, or why we keep doing things that we don't … Continue reading Practical tips for creating healthy habits #1
I'm not certain of my reason for writing this, but I thought someone might resonate with some aspect of it. A lot of people who have known me a while know me as "a runner," and until recently I would have defined myself that way. I have run for 11 years, and it has been … Continue reading Athletics and identity: My own reflections
Sport psychology is an increasingly well-known field today, however exercise psychology lags behind in its exposure. If you have ever asked one of these two questions: "what on earth is exercise psychology?" or "why would I see an exercise psychologist?" then read on. What is exercise psychology? You may have read a little about exercise … Continue reading What is exercise psychology, and why is it for me?
I recently wrote a blog post about the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy techniques for performance anxiety, and how suppressing the anxiety may not be the answer for everyone. I am continuing my discussion of this topic with a detour into the physiology behind performance anxiety and how it is possible to tweak your … Continue reading Challenge versus threat: The power of perspective
I was talking to a successful golf pro recently, and he raised the issue of practising well. He mentioned that in his experience, developing good practice processes is a topic that is often ignored, despite its importance. Practising a skill in a sport might well sound simple. In my view, the fact that it sounds simple … Continue reading How to practise effectively
The idea of performance anxiety - butterflies, pre-race nerves, fear, dread, however you like to describe it - is aversive for many athletes. Admittedly, there is nothing instantly appealing about excess adrenaline and confidence-busting thoughts as you wait to tee off, take a penalty, toe the start line or walk onto the pitch. Indeed, research supports … Continue reading Performance anxiety – suppress or embrace?
I've decided to write about my track session from this morning with the aim of reflecting upon how tapping into personal values can be a way of staying focused and committed throughout training/exercise sessions. Following my recent return to regular track training, having been training erratically due to a hectic schedule, I decided to challenge … Continue reading Running with my values: Staying focused on what’s important
Goals are an incredibly effective aid to behaviour change - they guide and motivate people, plus they provide a way of monitoring progress. I set goals with all of my clients, whether these involve changes in small habits or achieving long-term outcomes. I also set goals for myself with my own training, for the same reasons … Continue reading Why goals aren’t enough
Up until a few years ago, I used to make New Year's resolutions every January, mainly revolving around doing more exercise, eating more healthily and getting more work done. I would write something like: "eat more veg and less chocolate", or "make a study plan and stick to it", or "do X amount of weights … Continue reading New Year’s resolutions – how to make them actually work
People often talk about self-belief - they say you have to believe in yourself to succeed. I tend to agree, but what I don't like about that particular statement is that it's very vague. What are we trying to believe in? Are we trying to believe in the certainty of an outcome, or that we're competent … Continue reading Believe in your ability to change