Olympics Week: Think Like An Olympian

Over the past week, we have discussed a number of idea with an Olympics theme. From being a competitive business owner to establishing savings goals for yourself, there are a number of great parallels we can draw between an Olympic athlete and how you consider your finances.

The most important connection we can draw together from this great summer event is that all of us can act like an Olympian in our everyday lives.

For the closing ceremonies of our Olympics Week, here are four points to consider in your personal, or business, financial life as we all strive to be more like the great athletes we’ve been watching in London.

1. Have A Plan

You’ll hear a lot of crazy things said by athletes and commentators during the Olympics, but there hasn’t been an athlete at the Summer (or Winter) Games that has said “I just got here somehow.” Every Olympian has a plan, some more detailed than others, for how they will achieve their ultimate goal.

Your ultimate goal might not be a perfect score on floor exercise or a world record in the pool, but there are things in your life that you do want: home, car, college tuition, etc.

Think like an Olympian: have a plan in place.

2. Commit To Your Goals

Many people have goals in life, but never follow through with the steps to make those goals become a reality. During the Olympics, however, everything from between event interviews to commercials remind fans that it takes commitment to reach your goals. Whether it’s hearing that a swimmer hasn’t had dessert in two years or a gymnast took the train before school every day to train in a better environment, every athlete at the Olympics has committed to their sport.

Not every plan is easy to maintain; certainly it’s just as easy for us to want a new purse or baseball tickets as it is for that swimmer to order a slice of cheesecake on a Saturday night.

Think like an Olympian: when the temptation to leave the course is there, be strong in your commitment.

3. Work With Someone

In every sport, athletes train with someone else. Whether it’s a competitor, friend, family member or a coach, every Olympian has a partner in chasing their dream. They do this for accountability and support; someone is there to work with them through the struggles and setbacks as well as the successes.

Have someone in your life that can support you and hold you accountable to the plan you have set up. Talk to your spouse, a sibling, another family member or a close friend about being your partner in training.

Think like an Olympian: share the burden with someone you trust.

4. Celebrate Victories

Everyone has a different definition of “victory.” Only three competitors in each Olympic event gets a medal, but not everyone goes home disappointed. You might see someone finish 15th in the marathon and be overwhelmed with joy because they set a new personal best. There might be someone competing in tennis that loses in the first round of the tournament but played the best match of their life.

Define victory for yourself. What are the steps along the way to your ultimate goal that are benchmarks for success. Highlight them, and, when you reach them, celebrate your victories.

Think like an Olympian: doing your best is what’s most important. And, when you reach a benchmark, celebrate reaching that marker in your life.

Not many people will experience the thrill of receiving a gold medal, and watching the flag raise while the national anthem plays. But all of use can, and should, think like an Olympian. We can learn a lot from the way athletes establish a plan, commit to their goals, work with someone and celebrate their victories along the way to that gold medal, and we can implement each of those steps into our every day lives.

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