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Article – Going for Gold

As you all would know, Sydney has hosted the Olympic games over the past 2 weeks. It's been a very exciting time. Let's think about the Olympic athletes and see what we can learn from them. Think about these questions - What things have the athletes had to do to win medals, or even to just make it to the Olympics? What does it take to make it into the Olympics? What are the attributes and characteristics of an Olympic athlete?

Here are the key points I've noticed:

  • They all had a dream, a strong vision and a clear goal to compete in the Olympics.
  • They are all totally committed and dedicated to focus on their goal.
  • They do all that it takes and more -- eg. Womens waterpolo team had to fight just to get the sport for women into the Olympics. Once there, they fought to the last second to win GOLD 4-3.
  • Every athlete has trained and trained and trained!
  • They are willing to endure pain and push through it -- it's not always comfortable! eg. Brad McGee -- Bronze in cycling had a broken collarbone 2 weeks before the games.
  • They don't get distracted. Eg. The female pole volter, Tatiana Grigorieva, had ankle problems and said 'yes I still have it but I'm focussed on the competition and will not be distracted'
  • They continuously better their personal best. Even competitors, who came last or back of the pack in their heat events, were breaking their own personal best and often their countries national records.
  • They have strong support from family and friends. Note especially comments from Hacket and cyclists McGory and Aitken.
  • They may fail at first but keep going. eg. Trampoline silver medallist, Jai Wallace, said he continuously fell off his first trampoline as a child and his parents got so fed up they sent him to the gym for lessons.
  • They don't worry what they look like while achieving their goal!
    Without exception -- they all have a coach!

We can all learn from these points. Can you think of any others? How can you apply these points to your life? To start, if you want to achieve anything at all, it's important to set goals.

When setting goals yourself, remember to set S.M.A.R.T.. goals:

Achievable and Action-Orientated

As well as being SMART, Goals must be inspiring to you. A few examplesŠ. You could say "I want to loose weight" but I suggest that's not very inspiring, nor is it specific and measurable. A better possibility could be "to feel fabulous in my size 12 jeans". A business goal could be "earn more money" or "have a better business" and could be better worded as "to turnover $20,000 a month" or "to triple my business". An important final step is that your goals MUST be written down. Some years ago, a Yale University study asked graduates about goals. Only 3% had set goals, had them written down, and had a plan to accomplish them. 20 years later, that 3% were found to be more successful, more happily married, better family lives, and better health. They also held 97% net worth of the whole class.
On top of setting and writing your goals down, you must get committed to achieving those goals. You need to take pro-active action and schedule time into your already busy schedule to do actions that will make a difference and work towards your desired end result.

You would notice that "Going for Gold" means getting really focused on one area of your life for a certain period of time. While totally focussed on one area (eg. Sport and the Olympics), other areas suffer (eg. little time for friends, family, social life, etc.) As a Life Coach, my general philosophy is about achieving balance across all areas of your life. Areas of your life can include -- business/career, relationships/family, personal, health and fitness, finances, community, spiritual, creativity. Of course it is fine to be really focussed on one area of our life for a certain period of time while achieving big goals. For example, it could be while setting up your new business or career, writing a book, or whatever it is for you, there may be no time for exercise or relationships. However, I don't recommend you ignore other important areas of your life for too long. Overall a life that is balanced across all areas will be the most satisfying and rewarding.

If we use G.O.L.D. as an acromyn, it could mean...
G for Goals -- as discussed above.
O for Organise -- notice what needs to be done. Write an action plan with specific actions. Recognise where you are today, and get a clear vision of where you want to go. Prioritise. Use time management skills to be proactive. O could also be for Overcome Obstacles. It's a good idea to acknowledge what might get it the way, to write down both real and imagined obstacles, and know how you might handle these situations if they come up.
L is for Learning -- write down the skills you already have and the skills you need to acquire or hone up on, in order to achieve your goal. L could also be for Lighten-up -- we don't have to take life so seriously! And for Lifestyle -- think of the Lifestyle you will have when you achieve. Or L could be for Life Coach -- if you want a partner to work with you to set and achieve your goals
D is for Do It!! -- Get into action.

Set yourself things to do each week and set appointments with yourself to review and track progress. Just get committed and Do It Now! Or, get yourself a coach as athletes do.

So, what goals could you create to improve your life? What actions do you want to take? Are you willing to take that action? Will you commit? Will you apply the characteristics of an Olympic athlete into your life? What would it take to make this year the best of your life? There is 97% probability that nothing will change unless you create a plan and follow through relentlessly. You need goals, passion, desire and action to transpose your dreams into reality. A gold medal really is the ultimate result.
Will you "Go for Gold"?

Written by Barbara Anderson.

To discuss your needs phone Barbara Anderson on + 61 2 9527 9396
email her at barbara@shirecoachingtraining.com.au

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