It’s that time again when country flags fly high and the world gathers around TV screens to cheer on men and women in pursuit of excellence: Olympic season!
Five thousand athletes from more than 200 countries are competing in London over the span of 16 days. Though hailing from different corners of the world, each competitor has one thing on their mind – winning.
We may not all be in pursuit of gold, but we all strive each day to win. Here are five ways you can tap into your inner champion to reach that next level of success.
1. Set a goal
Champions have goals and you need them, too. Every Olympian’s goal is gold, that’s the big-picture goal and that’s where you need to start. Then, set smaller targets to get you there.
For example, sprinter Usain Bolt may set a goal of shaving .03 seconds off his record-setting time in three months, then .06 seconds in six months and one second in nine months.
Start with a main goal, then work backwards to set supporting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.
2. Visualize it
Visualization is crucial to a champion’s success. Athletes at all levels incorporate visualization techniques into their training programs, and into their preparation immediately before each competition.
Olympic cyclist Catharine Peddler says, “Visualizing the finish line helps me dig deeper during intense workouts.”
The key is to engage all your senses and focus through your mind’s eye. Think of your visualization session as a complete mental rehearsal.
Before heading out to an important interview, take a few minutes to visualize yourself in the interview being relaxed and confident.
3. Get focused
Imagine the focus required to navigate a balance beam in front of thousands of spectators? Olympic athletes know how to filter out internal and external chatter before and during competitions. Like any good champion, you too can maintain focus by avoiding distractions.
Tempted to hit the couch with the remote instead of the gym? Place visual reminders such as vision boards, affirmations or any other personal reminder of your goal in places of frequent distractions. You can also set electronic reminders to jolt you into focusing on your goals.
4. Be consistent and committed
Bruce Jenner trained for eight hours every day for four years to win gold in the decathlon at the ’76 Games. That’s dedication!
Looking to lose those last ten pounds but barely see the inside of a gym? Start small by taking one Zumba class every week for a month then work your way up to three. By setting and achieving these small goals, you slowly build your confidence and commitment.
Enlist a workout buddy, or sign a workout contract with a friend you know will hold you accountable.