Hockey season is an exciting time of year, however, the reality of hockey season can create a level of chaos and stress; trying to balance games and practices, not to mention all of the things that happen when not at the rink.
No amount of fretting about what went wrong will change last year’s realities. Instead of fixating on what happened last year, figure out what you want and commit to this year, and make a fresh start.
1. Begin with the end in mind – This is how you envision your hockey season to play out. Use this phase to decide to what you want your fresh start to look like. What does a successful trip to the rink, or an away game look like? How organized do you want your season to look like for you and your family? Take time to decide; it’s in your hands. How calm do you want to be?
2. Ghosts from seasons past – Revisit what you wish your past seasons had looked like. Identify what did and didn’t work for you last season; what were the things that caused you stress and chaos? Were there things that you did that benefited you? This is your fresh start; this year can be anything you want it to be.
3. Identify – Once you have identified the way you want your season to roll, it is time to identify things that you think will work for you; what to put in place, and what to do without. What are the things that you can put in place that will work for you; creating schedules, arranging to trade off on carpooling, creating a plan for the family, so everyone can participate? What are the things you can let go of? What will eliminate stress, or give you more time and less stress?
4. Create a plan – My favourite quote is “Begin with the end in mind,” by Steven Covey, but that does not amount to anything if there is no execution to get you to where you want to go. This is the stage that you reach once you have decided what you want your new beginning to look like. Determining the “How’s“, of getting to your ideal place, how to start your new beginning. If you have decided on trading off on carpooling, this would be the stage where you would identify who will you be sharing carpooling duty with and/or what days are you going to be responsible for? Are all days covered? What is the backup plan for sick days etc. This alone should give you a great sense of relief. Go through this process with all of the things you have identified from step 3. Tell people your plan; get everybody on board. When others know you are trying to make changes, they will support you and help where they can.
5. Saying no – Sometimes it is feeling chaotic and being overwhelmed that makes you want to throw in the well worn hockey towel. When you decide to commit to a fresh start, you decide to commit to things that help ease your burden. Our society has this odd way of making us think that we should be able to manage everything, and then some. Being able to say no, or asking for help in getting a youngster to and from the rink, not over committing to selling raffle tickets, or sewing numbers on jerseys is a good way to eliminate the stress and chaos of your hockey year. I am not suggesting not being a team player, but by not taking on too much, sharing the load and asking for help, you will be working towards creating the sense of peace and calm that you are looking for this season. Ask for help , use all the tools necessary for you to have the fresh start that you want.
“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”
6. Visualize – Have you heard the term ‘Self Fulfilling Prophecies”? If you think you are going to be a gong show, you will be a gong show. If you think you are going to be late, or your child will forget some equipment, that will all come to fruition. Instead, envision, your new start; what does it look like? Do you arriving at the rink early, not flying around the corner peeling into a parking spot as you throw junior from the car, just in time to hit the ice? No, it is you, at the rink, with plenty of time to spare; flipping through the latest magazine, talking with some other well organized, on time parents, or sitting and taking a deep breath.
7. Don’t get discouraged – If you find yourself falling back into your old ways remind yourself of the feelings of stress, disorganization that the year before gave you. Take some time to get yourself back on the track you want to be on. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t call yourself names, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
8. Excellence is a habit – They say it takes it 21 days to create a habit. Be gentle on yourself. It is a new beginning, and you are bound to have some backslide. That is ok. Just revisit your vision, replay your strategy and start again.