February 1, 2018 • From the BenchWinning Hoops

Column: A challenge to get better every day

by Kevin Hoffman, Editorial Director

One year ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to read 25 books by the end of 2017. It was an ambitious goal, and one that came with a high probability of failure, but I didn’t let that discourage me. If you’re not willing to set your sights high, why set them at all?

But I didn’t make it.

In fact, I wasn’t even close.

Life gets in the way, and before you know it, it’s the first day of winter and you’re only halfway there. But I would stop short of saying the endeavor was a lost cause.

What I’ve always appreciated about New Year’s resolutions is the way they inspire self-evaluation. Determining what you want to improve about yourself or your life forces you to be honest about your shortcomings. That alone makes it worthwhile.

“The greatest value of the process is not what it does to your schedule,” author Stephen Covey once wrote, “but what it does to your head.”

Coaches and athletes are notorious goal setters. Coaches might gather during the preseason to set wins or points benchmarks, while the players might aim for a personal best in rebounds or gains in the weight room.

The new year is a perfect time to set individual goals. While we’ve already taken a few steps into 2018, there’s still time for you to make your own resolution, and I have a suggestion: Get better every day.

The simplicity of such a goal makes it impossible to resist. And there are no excuses that would absolve you from getting better every day. This should be our mindset year in and year out, but a small reminder as we turn the calendar might make you more conscious of your actions and whether they make you a better person or strengthen your coaching abilities.

Perhaps you take a few minutes on our website to learn a new drill, or you commit to spending more quality time with your family. Discover some new strategies to build team unity, or post some motivational quotes around your office to remind you of your goals. It’s that simple.

I fell short of my personal reading goal in 2017, but I still finished more books in a single year than I had in recent memory. My approach is to make goals difficult yet attainable, so while I wasn’t able to finish a book every two weeks, I learned a lot from what I did accomplish and moved the needle forward.

Whether you’re trying to get better every day, or you’re setting your more specific goals for 2018, give yourself at least one target to aim for over the next 12 months. You might not get there, but by the time you reach the end of the road, I’m confident you’ll find that the journey alone was well worth it.

Kevin Hoffman is the editorial director for Winning Hoops. He can be reached by emailing [email protected].