An Olympian’s Mindset

The mindset I carry with me in my quest to be an Olympian embodies the spiritual, mental, and physical states. I believe the spiritual state leads and the mental and the physical follow the lead of the spiritual state. These states are so intertwined that when one area is off-kilter, chances are you will find hiccups in the other areas. When these three states are on one accord, I am able to perform like a well-oiled machine. While keeping this background in mind, I will dive into three aspects that make up my mindset and give suggestions as to how you can infuse this mindset towards improving your life. There is tremendous power and joy in honoring and thinking of others, for me it is the loving memory of my father for whom I dedicate my dreams, goals and achievements. He is forever with me in spirit.

Goal Setting

Goals must be set in order to create and solidify your vision for the future. Without a clear picture of where you want to be it is impossible to establish a process to get you from point A to point B. There are three pivotal components of goals. They must be realistic, challenging, and measurable.
Realistic – You can only set your goals within the realm of possibility. Make sure your goals can be reached with the resources you have or resources that are possible to attain. While all goals must be realistic, don’t let this component be a dream-killer. Dream big!
Challenging – As stated above, dream big! Goals must stretch you. Don’t set a goal that is already something you have easily accomplished or something that you know is easily attainable. Instead, set a goal that is beyond what you have accomplished so that you will have to grow in order to reach it.
Measurable – Many people write goals such as “I will eat healthy”. What exactly is “healthy”? Goals must be clearly defined and one should be able to discern when and if the goal was achieved. Take this goal for example: I will lose 10 pounds by December 2016. In this example, the 10 pounds can easily be measured by weighing yourself on a scale, and it will be done in December. When goals are measurable, progress towards the goals in question can accurately be monitored. If a goal of yours is cumbersome or particularly life-changing, it can be a good idea to make short-term goals on the way to the ultimate long-term goal.

*Keep in mind the three states when setting these goals. Ideally, goals should be set for each state to ensure complete growth towards being the person you strive to become.*

Create a Positive Environment

In order to thrive, we need to be in an environment conducive to growth. Often times we can help to influence this environment by surrounding ourselves with the right people, items, and location.

A positive environment helps us to achieve the goals we have set before us. An illustration of this is the environment I create before and during competition. Because competition is very difficult by nature, I prepare for it by creating a peaceful environment. Here are a few examples of the routine I have established before competition:

1. Read and meditate on Biblical scripture (spiritual)

2. Engage in conversation with positive and encouraging people such as my coach, teammates, and sports psychologist (mental)

3. Hydrate, stretch, and eat appropriate foods (physical)

These are just a few things that I do to ensure my chances of performing well are at their highest. These things by no means guarantee success, but they definitely increase the likelihood. In creating a positive environment to reach your goals, you can perform a quick test for each person or item in your life by asking yourself whether or not they contribute positively towards your goals.

Constantly Fuel your Passion

In reading this blog, I hope that you have been thinking of your goals. Additionally, I hope that your goals are attached to your passion. If not, these goals will be extremely difficult for you to reach. Whatever you are passionate about, find it and do it. Keep this passion close to you and protect it. Even if your passions are known and protected, often times you may find yourself feeling stale and unable to remain motivated. For me, reciting identity statements of who I am or who I will be keep my passions awakened and roaring.

“I am an Olympian. I will be on the US Olympic Team in Tokyo starting in 2020.”

With every repetition you will find an air of confidence exuding out of you. This is exactly what you want.
Everyone has the ability to effect transformational change in their lives. This change can be created as a direct product of vision, environment, and passion. Set your vision through goal-setting; take action towards your vision by creating a positive environment for growth; and keep the passion for your vision alive in order to make your wildest dreams come true.

Author: James Gilreath

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