Linda Melone
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How to think like an Olympic athlete… and crush your goals

It seems anyone can become rich and famous these days.  Just be an influencer. 

The formula seems simple enough:

  1. Be highly controversial and for no apparent reason
  2. Be willing to stand behind your outrageously ridiculous beliefs regardless of any reasonable argument to the contrary
  3. Defend your opinions as obnoxiously as humanly possible, and mock anyone who disagrees with you

Or slice things in half on YouTube. And no, I’m not kidding.

Either way, you can fill your bathtub with Benjamins in short time.

Actual accomplishments involving superior mental or human feats,  however, is not nearly as easy.

Take becoming an Olympian.

You can’t hop on a TV talk show and scream at the host and BAM! Gold medal. It takes a bit more than that.

Just ask Jason Parker.

I had the honor of interviewing Jason.

First, a little background. I met Jason through a mindset coaching group.

He lives in Canada and, not surprisingly, is super nice and humble. If you ran into him at a party you’d never know he could blow the doors off anyone else’s accomplishments in the room.

His journey from 11-year old speed skater trainee who learned by watching skaters on TV, to a silver Olympic medalist was fraught with many setbacks, challenges, and moments where he wanted to throw in the towel.

But here’s the key: he didn’t. He kept going no matter how badly he wanted to quit. 

Jason dropped a lot of serious motivational and mindset bombs during our 90-minute conversation, far too many to get into in great detail here. So I thought I’d sum up the moments most likely to help propel you farther towards your goals, whether weight loss, fitness or simply being a more successful person in general.

The points he made can be used for achieving anything in life.

                                             Take it one step at a time

1. Strive to be better than yesterday… a little at a time  

“Olympians wake up with the intention of being better than they were the day before,” Parker told me. This does not mean they take leaps and bounds each day, trying to top their last achievement or workout. It’s not about making one major achievement after the other. No one can keep up that kind of pace, Olympian or otherwise.

Simply go for one small change each day and build on it the next day. Then the next, and so on.

For example, if you are getting started exercising, don’t join the Super High Intensity Crazy People Workout class, try to run a marathon, or otherwise overshoot your abilities as punishment for years of slothiness.

Instead, if the last time you worked out you were running from a velociraptor, start by walking five minutes a day for a week. That’s it. Even if you want to do more, don’t.

Too much too soon and you’re back on the couch with a sprained ankle or worse, declaring, “Exercise just doesn’t work for me.” 

If you’re totally fine, add five more minutes the next week. Keep going.

This approach not only helps you make progress without injury, but you won’t get discouraged because you’ll see improvements steadily.

2. Track and acknowledge your progress

“We tend to be our own worst inner critique,” said Parker. Even when you make progress it’s easy to downplay it or brush it off as still not being “good enough.” Or you tell yourself, “Sure, that’s fine but I still have miles to go.”

This self-defeating attitude does not allow you to acknowledge the progress you have made. If you feel you’re spinning your wheels it will be harder to keep moving forward.

Instead, Jason suggests keeping a gratitude or “victory” journal. No doubt you’ve heard of this but are you doing it? Keeping track of your wins each day — no matter how small — moves you closer to the thing you want.

“The magic lies in going back and re-reading your prior wins on days when things aren’t working out,” he says. “This will keep you going.” High-five yourself in the mirror. Whatever it takes.

Need I remind you this advice comes from an Olympic athlete?

3. Watch your mouth 

Negative self-talk can flip your results on their head. Not only obvious phrases like, “I can’t firm up these arms no matter what I do!” to simply using the term, “lose” weight.

“What do you want to do when you’ve ‘lost’ something?” Parker asked. “You want to find it.” By telling yourself you  want to lose weight over and over, it sets up your mind to think something’s missing. We must find it! Your brain screams. Clearly, this underlying subconscious thought can easily sabotage your efforts.

So instead, Parker suggests avoiding the phrase “weight loss” or “I want to lose weight” to something positive. Examples may be, “I want to gain the ability to get down on the floor with my grand-babies and be able to get back up easily.

4. Practice SOI

It’s easy to set a goal and then spend weeks “researching” and taking courses and surfing the Internet for “the best ways to lose belly fat” or otherwise stalling and procrastinating and calling it “taking action.”

But you’re not taking action until you do the thing.

Instead of researching the best workout shoes — go for a walk.

Don’t spend hours looking on eBay for used weight benches — go lift some dumbbells.

Stop making lists of healthy foods and collecting recipes — go start a food journal.

The key word: NOW. Stop taking in more and more information under the guise of “doing something.”

So what is SOI? Guess:

  1. Step Over Insects
  2. Stop Overpaying for Igloos
  3. Speed of implementation

This is a toughie because although #1 and #2 make total sense, the answer is #3.

Implementation is a big word for ACTION.

Not only is it necessary to take action, but it’s important to do it NOW.

Question: WHAT ACTION WILL YOU TAKE RIGHT NOW TO MOVE YOURSELF CLOSER TO YOUR GOAL? Write it down and let me know in the comments below…

And please share this post with your friends and cohorts who may benefit from these tips!

Other posts you may enjoy:

How to stay on track when it seems totally impossible

3 Reality checks you must cash in if you want results

2 Surprising ways you unknowingly sabotage yourself

Your Ageless Body Coach,

About the Author Linda Melone

Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.

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