Whether you are training for a race, practicing yoga or maintaining your ideal weight, what you think about affects your performance. Here are some tried and true steps to success that will connect your mind with your physical efforts for long lasting results.
What do all successful people have in common?
EVERY one of them has tenacity.
Tenacity is that “stick-to-it” attitude that doesn’t quit, a persistent dedication to a goal through fatigue, set backs and even self-doubt. Tenacity cultivates endurance and confidence. Tenacity builds character.
Follow these steps tenaciously and you will reach your goals. Success is yours for the making.
You must set goals for peak performance. The most highly performing people in sports, academics and finance have goals. Goals make us more aware, motivated and always on the look out for insight that will lead us to greater success in attaining our goals. The research is out there. People who set goals for themselves have higher expectations and achieve more. Goal setting people also accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. Just because you have goals doesn’t mean you will not have hard days and compromises to make in order to achieve them, but overcoming those difficulties will make you stronger and more resolved in the end.
Some people don’t share their goals with others because they are afraid people will criticize them, judge them, not believe in them. Some people don’t share their goals because they are afraid they won’t achieve them and don’t want to be embarrassed. I say tell your close friends, create a network of support and hold each other accountable. Commit to yourself by sharing your goals with others and make plans to hit the gym, trails, pool and yoga mats together!
Surround yourself with people who are achieving what you would like more of in your life. Vision boards are great. I make special folders for my personal marathon training plans and each of the Wellfit Institute Retreats and Adventure Camps I plan and I put inspirational images and words I find in magazines to make collages on the covers. I bring them with me in my day bag, using the visuals as inspiration throughout my day. My folders have become talking points at business meetings, which allows me to further commit to my goal by sharing it with others. I have been known to wear a wonder woman t-shirt on days when I have a long run and write in dry erase marker on my bathroom mirror “I CAN DO IT”! The power of motivating music can never be understated. CRANK IT UP!
Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. Blogs. Podcasts. From inspirational images to “how to” guides, to interactive forums, we have a world of networking at our fingertips. Follow your favorite athletes, yogis and life masters on Twitter for 140 characters or less of wellness, fitness and adventure tips. Facebook and Pinterest are a warehouse of positive messages. “Like” pages that inspire and share only the best messages.
Creative visualization is the practice of using mental imagery and affirmations to produce positive change and action. I first read Shakti Gawain’s book, Creative Visualization, nearly 20 years ago and it was a life-changer. When I first learned to surf it was crowded and some days I’d only get a few waves to myself. Everyday in the morning and evening, I committed to sitting still and visualizing myself surfing. I actually felt I was getting the practice I needed even while I was home on the couch, I learned more quickly and efficiently using these mental images. I use visualization practices when learning anything new. I see myself doing and achieving the desired act and meditate on the sensation and feeling, as well. It works to improve and enhance performance.
Don’t let black and white thinking take you out of the race. Black and white thinking says, “if I don’t win, it’s not worth trying”, “I can’t beat my last time, so I might as well not bother”, “I have an injured _______, so I better not”. We take ourselves out because of fear. We fear we won’t be good enough, we fear we will be too good and people will expect the same of us all the time, we fear injury, fatigue, etc. Approach every endeavor with the attitude that “practice makes pride, not perfect”. Perhaps your original time goal as changed, you have a little injury, life got busy — don’t abandon the race, modify your plan. The process of self-discovery, adaptation and resilience are just as important as the end product. Slight turns, curves and bumps make the journey more interesting. Don’t give up!
While tenacity may be the one characteristic that all successful people have, recommitment is the single most action that all successful people make. Over and over, we must recommit to our goals. It’s exciting to sign up for a race, but months of training can feel tedious. Recommit. Review the previous six steps and re-engage. Recommitment means revisit your goal, tune into what matters and how you will feel about yourself. Recommitment means reaching out to your buddy and asking him or her to hold you accountable. Read and watch more inspiring posts on your social media outlets. Visualize how GREAT you will feel when you reach your goals (daily and weekly, as well as the far out ones). Recommitment means you can modify. Life is a journey, in the end there is only one end, until then we have many options along the way. Recommit. Then recommit…again.
Soon you will be the one who people are seeking for inspiration.
More importantly, you will have inspired yourself.