For those of you who have gotten to know me during your time at re:Move, you know that I am an endurance athlete. From swimming the mile in college, to competing in 140.6 mile triathlons, if someone else said “Thats too long”, I said “Sign me up!”. I have always found that one of the unique but critical aspects to being successful as an endurance athlete is the ability to focus on the immediate, but do it in the context of your larger goal. Trust me, world champion Ironman triathletes don’t just count down 140.6 miles one mile at a time. Only 139 more miles to go… HA! You have to set short term goals, be able to be positive but brutally honest with yourself, and know you can successfully take the next step because you have already taken successful steps in the past. I find that adapting this “Endurance Mindset” that makes long distance athletes successful in their sports can make each of us successful in our daily lives. To help you, here are a few key tenants to living an “Endurance Mindset”
1. Know that life is going to be a journey, you are going to have some amazing days and you are going to have some days when you really need a glass of wine. Get through today, and know that tomorrow is a new day and a clean slate.
2. Focus on your now, be present, and be purposeful. If you start thinking about the long journey ahead you cannot focus on the few things that are in your control right now. These are the little things that will make a big difference and determine if you succeed or fail.
3. Give it your all! Wake up and give every day 100%, and know that todays 100% may be less than yesterday, but that doesn’t mean you should give up and not try. As the Dali Lama said, “Be the change you want to see.”
4. Refuel your willingness to fight for yourself, because you are so important and loved. Too many times we give away all of your good vibes to others and we save nothing for ourselves. Athletes start every race by envisioning themselves crossing the finish line, and achieving their goal. We can do this by starting every day by filling ourselves with positives and goodness, and then watching these good vibes spill into all areas of our lives.
5. Don’t consume what makes you feel weak. If it doesn’t encourage you and it doesn’t make you feel good, avoid it. No, I am not talking about eating brussels sprouts. I am talking about internalizing the opinions and judgments of others. Many times we struggle with other’s perceptions of us, when we really need to just focus on running our own race. We need to remember that these individuals are not fighting our battles, and they are not traveling the same roads. We should not mentally give them them the power to tell us how to live or worry what they may think. I would bet that a lot of our anxiety comes from us worrying about pleasing others or what they might think of us. As long as you are sticking to your plan and making progress, you are successful. Period!
6. STOP comparing yourself to others. It slows you down and it messes with your mind. None of us traveled the same path to get here, and we are all so beautifully unique and special in our own ways. Celebrate your friends victories and cheer her on, then put your head down and go back to work. You have no idea what mountains she had to climb to get to where she is today. You didn’t start at the same place and your are not going to the same place so focus on yourself and your accomplishments. Becoming what you want to be has to come from you, from deep inside of you. I swam competitively for several years and one thing my swim coach told us was to never turn your head to look at the person in the lane next to you. You become less stream lined in the water, your thoughts get distracted, self doubt creeps in and you loose focus on your goal.
7. You are your biggest asset or your greatest obstacle. WOW, this one is so powerful for me and I totally stole it from Rachel Hollis. I am certainly guilty of this myself, bad self talk. Do you think an olympic athlete wins a gold medal by starting a race thinking “I’m too slow to win this race…”? So why do you keep telling yourself that you are fat, or that there is no way you can complete that task? The mind is a powerful tool, and when you repeatedly tell it good or bad it starts to believe and makes it comes true. I had a coach once work with us on visualization techniques before a race. Days before your race/event you meditate and go over and over in your mind how each stroke (its swimming people) looks, how your hand will propel you forward and push the water backward, how you will pick up your turnover as you dig deep and finish strong. You focus on the time you want to achieve and how it feels. You burn it into your memory and then when you actually get to the race, your mind just knows what to do and you know how it will end.
Success is deliberate, and is achieved by doing the small things and making positive choices every day. Remember your mindset and words have power, so much power! Be positive, be purposeful, and be kind to yourself and those around. Every day you must set your mindset for the day, the week, and your lifetime to come. And remember, there are all of those tiny humans everywhere watching how you treat yourself and learning how they should treat themselves. Success is never ending.
-Coach Nettie Boyle