Wish you had the motivation and drive of an Olympic champion? Learn techniques to elevate your goal achievement game plan for health.
I can’t tell you how many times clients ask me, “Where does Olympic-sized motivation come from? And how can I utilize and harness that for myself when it comes to my health?”
(While I am not personally an Olympic athlete, I have been able to help my clients crush personal health records. And, I love following athletes 🙂
This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a previous client. I wanted to talk about setting health goals because she was in a very vulnerable place, and I really admire her courage and sensitivity to talk about her challenges. And, you may find yourself in these challenges.
My client said, “I don’t really have an ideal weight. I didn’t really set a goal for myself because I’m kind of afraid I won’t get there.”
Her answer and response just really hit me because I know she’s not alone, and I know you’re not alone.
There are days when coming up with a goal feels like an exercise in futility, where you’re like, “Last week I had this goal, and I didn’t make it, and so this week I’m just not going to make a goal at all.”
You feel like you’re protecting yourself, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In order to achieve anything great in your life, you need to have a goal.
I decided to talk about goal achievement so that you can win at health, just like an Olympic champ. And, don’t try to argue that winter Olympians train any less than summer Olympians. Their game is strong, and so is their mindset!
Let’s talk about how you can utilize some of their high performance techniques for your own personal best health.
Set a Goal
First, you must have a goal. I don’t care what your goal is, but ultimately, you have to care about it so much that it keeps you up at night. It has to fire you up. It has to get you excited. It has to be something that is slightly beyond your reach.
Let me give you an example of that. When I first set out to lose weight, my only goal was to live a long and healthy life. That’s not going to cut it anymore. That’s not making a goal like an Olympic champ.
The type of goal I might set today would be more along the lines of, “I want to bench press 250 pounds.” or “I want to be able to do two unassisted pull-ups on the bar at the monkey bars that my children play at.”
Notice three very important things about these health goals. First, they are both very specific. I am not saying that I want to lift more or get strong. No, I am saying exactly what my end result looks like.
Second, they are measurable. If I bench press 200 pounds, then technically, I did NOT reach my goal. This is where the rubber meets the road. You see, I may not reach 250 pounds for a bench press (ever), but even reaching 70% of that goal would make me feel like a champ.
High performance athletes like Olympic champs set incremental goals that are milestones to success. A person who wants to beat the world record for skiing is not saying, “I’m going to ski better than I did last time.”
What did they ski last time? Did it take them 3 minutes to get down the hill? Then the next time, it’s going to take them 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The time after that, 2 minutes even. Then, 1 minute 30 seconds.
Dr. Stephen Kraus of Real Science of Success calls these near-term goals. I call them milestones.
Each milestone gets you closer to achieving your ultimate goal of personal best.
More on this from Olympic medalist David Oliver, as told for a classroom training.
When it comes to your #health, it's critical to set a #goal that honors BOTH where you are today, and… Click To Tweet
Last, your health goals should involve something you have NEVER done before. That means they should stretch you beyond your current limits, without feeling like an impossible dream.
What Not to Do
Often, when I work with health coaching clients, they’ll say, “My only goal is to feel healthy.
Or, “My only goal is to feel happy. My only goal is to be good, to feel good.”
Can you measure happiness? Can you measure how you feel? No, you can’t. You don’t see a single Olympian go up to the podium or onto the ice or the ski hill and say, “My only goal is to skate good, to ski good, to do tricks good.”
They don’t become world champions by being wishy-washy about their end result. That’s not going to get them anywhere, and that’s not how they’re able to achieve the amazing things they’re able to achieve.
You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t want to become a champion of anything”.
Why not? Growth happens when we change, and we don’t change unless we try. You may never be a champion snowboarder, but you can certainly try to beat the bunny hill, right? That would make you a champ in your kids’ eyes, and maybe even increase your overall fitness and well-being along the way.
You have to take the same approach when it comes to your health. Health is such a generic term because health is very much relative. A person who is struggling with cancer might actually be healthier than a person who is disease-free. A person who is a 60 year old mountain climber may be healthier than your twelve-year playing video games on the couch.
If you’re a person who says, “I want to be healthy,” find a way to quantify that.
- Does it mean a certain number on the scale? (By the way, I know there’s a push to NOT use a scale for health goals. I believe the scale is not just an amazing tool, but also critical as part of your overall objectives).
- Does “healthy” mean a certain size of your favorite pants tucked in the back of your closet that you haven’t worn for years? Sing it loud and proud!
Then you set those milestones, those small little goals,to ultimately get you to that goal. That’s how you can become just like an Olympic champ.
The Role of Motivation in Keeping Goals
Everyone says in order to achieve your goals, you have to be disciplined, you have to be self-motivated, or at the very least, you have to tell the WHOLE WORLD.
Think of Muhammad Ali. He didn’t hesitate to tell everyone how he was the “greatest in the world”.
Let’s set the record straight- Absolutely nobody can do that every day entirely on their own.
I am a health coach who helps clients achieve body bliss, and have maintained my own weight loss for 20 years.
- Yet when my father passed away, I gained weight.
- When I suffered from a nasty bout of pneumonia that led to asthma, my fitness suffered.
- When I spent entire days taking my teen from one doctor’s appointment to another due to mental illness, I went to too many fast food drive-throughs.
I also have alot of personal trainers in my network, and THEY always tell me they just want someone to tell them what to do.
No matter how disciplined, self-motivated or determined you are, you still need a support system. Now, not all of us need the same type of support system that others do.
(If daily support is helpful, join Weight no More. Click the picture below or this link to join)
For example, I am a classic do-it-yourself type of character who was fortunately able to lose 100 pounds on my own. That doesn’t mean you can or even should.
How I was able to maintain my weight loss, though, did involve a level of accountability that I didn’t seek out when I was losing weight, especially after having two kids and going through career transition.
What you need to identify for yourself when it comes to your health goals, what kind of support and accountability do you need?
Forget what your neighbor needs, or what your sister needs, or what that late night infomercial tells you, what do YOU need?
Do you get motivated by a person-to-person interaction? Do you get motivated by group hype? Do you get motivated by having someone that you regularly check in with? Find that, and establish your best support system. (Hint: I provide all of this support in my programs.)
What your Support System is Not
I just want to throw a little disclaimer out there. A lot of people say, “My family supports me,” or, “My best friend supports me,” or even, “My co-workers support me.”
They may, but only in a passive way. Your family, friend or co-workers might love you to death and fully support your goals, but that doesn’t mean they will actively cheer and egg you on for whatever your next milestone is. That’s not really their job.
That’s the gap that health coaching fills for you. I will be both your biggest fan and remind you of why you started this journey.
There is not a single Olympian out there who says, “I’m going to beat the world record, and I’m going to do it without hiring a coach.” If you have never achieved your ideal body weight and you’ve never achieved your best health, it’s going to be that much more challenging for you when you’re trying to achieve it if you don’t have that type of support.
By the way, you may think you’re just going to plug into a cookie-cutter program like Weight Watchers, Slimfast, Medifast or that latest shake thing.
This is GREAT if you love following rules. You know, the “eat this, don’t eat that” kind of rules.
- The programs that make you scared to eat anything because it will cause cancer or because it causes inflammation.
- The programs that have you spend hours in a gym, until you realize that you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in ages.
- The programs that make you share sweaty selfies and your latest inedible salad on social media, because that’s where success happens, right?
Those programs can be fantastic for a certain type of person. That type of person is very organized, diligent, and gets off on using a checklist. The kind of person who is happy to share the wins, but afraid to share the losses.
You will have wins, champ, and you will also have miserable losses.
Flexibility is the number one thing that you will need in a health program, especially as you’re plateauing in your weight-loss program, or if you’re just stuck.
- You’ve done what you can, champ.
- You’ve exhausted your resources, and you don’t quite know where to pick yourself up.
That’s where Let it Go comes in.
Let it Go is a 6 week goal setting program for people who need flexibility and a plan to fits their current needs. Every week, you get meal plans, gym-free fitness support, and you set the milestones that make sense for you (with my guided support).
We meet weekly via phone call to celebrate our success, and trouble-shoot our challenges.
Does this sound like the way to your inner champion?
If so, enter your email below to get notified when it runs again in April. I keep this group small to get the biggest impact for my champions, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!