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How to Set Your 2015 Goals Like An Olympian

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Olympic Athlete Sam Mikulak

It’s the end of the year, and like most of us who are truly “addicted to success”, we are already thinking about the year ahead, what it will mean to us personally and professionally, and what goals we can set in order to get the most out of the next 365.25 days.

Personally, I spent a majority of my night yesterday researching various ways my mentors, peers, co-founders, and favorite thought leaders set their own 2015 goals so I could do the same, and perhaps the most interesting feedback was that from my friend Sam Mikulak.

2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials - Day 3Sam is an Olympic gymnast who represented Team U.S.A. in the London 2012 games and has been competing at an international level since 2007 (when he was only 15 years old).

Sam is also a 7-Time NCAA Champion, having won titles individually and with his team at the University of Michigan, and he is a budding entrepreneur as well who is finishing a successful Kickstarter campaign for his new company MateBros which sells a special blend of Yerba Mate tea that Sam and his teammates have used for years to both refuel for competitions and spark new friendships off the gym floor.

Needless to say, Sam is one pretty successful guy, so I listened intently when he shared with me how he sets his goals for the year. He broke his goal-setting habits down into three parts for us…

 

1. Everyday Goals

His everyday goals are pretty simple, and may not be what you’d expect. “Smile, be happy, be proud, be respectful,” he told me. Essentially, these everyday goals aren’t necessarily about what you produce or “do” each day, but more about what type of person you need to be and state you must be in so that you can get the results you want and live well.

Sam’s advice here is pretty in-line with that of Tony Robbins, who preaches that – in order to achieve breakthroughs in your business, relationships, finances, or any area of your life – you need to properly align your strategy, your story, and your state.

Sam’s everyday goals help him get in the proper state to grow a business, train at the highest levels of his sport, and ultimately represent our country on an international scale.

 

2. Short Term Goals

The next two types of goals are very simple, and I’m sure you’ve thought about them in one way or another before.

Sam sets short-term goals in order to get ahead throughout the year, and breaks down these goals into three different time blocks. He asked, rhetorically, “Where do I want to be in 4 weeks? In 8 weeks? In 12 weeks?

Essentially, Sam is breaking down his short term goals with each month, and doesn’t look beyond one quarter from now in terms of accomplishing his short term goals. In fact, it is this laser-like focus on the “now” that allows Sam to balance ambitions in the business and sports worlds, two equally challenging fields of play.

Take a minute now to think about what your 4 week, 8 week, and 12 week goals are…How are you going to get the most of Q1 in 2015. Think about that first, and then we will expand to 2015 in total, and even beyond.

 

3. Long Term Goals

Again, pretty simple as far as what Sam’s goal-setting breakdown is (and we will get to “how” he actually sets these goals in a minute…), but the final piece in the year-planning puzzle is setting long term goals for yourself. He asked me, again, “Where do I want to be in 1 year? In 2 years? In 5 years?” Easy, right? I think so…but before you go, read the most important part of this article, which is how Sam actually goes about setting these goals…

 

big goals earl quote

The Strategy:

Here’s what separates how an Olympic athlete and 7-Time NCAA Champion’s goal-setting strategy differs from most. As he explained to me,

“I start out by making my long term goals, and then make my short term goals and everyday goals. I do it this way because the short term goals and daily goals should be a byproduct of the long term goals, a reflection of how I will get there. Too often people set goals ambiguously and do not realize that their short term and daily goals do not align with their long term goals. Write your goals out on paper with arrows so you make sure you’re doing it right.”

As an example, say that my 1 year goal was to lose 30 pounds (which I did successfully in 2014 myself). Using Sam’s guideline, I’d first set this goal, and then work backwards. “OK, what’s my 12 week, 8 week, and 4 week goals now.

Perhaps (just to use easy numbers) my goals here would be to lose 15 pounds, 10 pounds, and 5 pounds respectively. And then, in order to accomplish these, I’d set a daily goal – a state goal – to be mindful about everything I put in my body and every health decision I make (and perhaps to drink MateBros everyday).

Actually, in regards to MateBros, Sam set his 12 week goal for Q4 of 2014 to raise $37,000 for the new company, and as you can see on Kickstarter, he is getting pretty damn close (there’s less than 3 days left in the campaign, and he’s almost there!).

He hasn’t told me what his everyday goal has been recently, but I’m sure it has something to do with being grateful for all the support he and his co-founders have received, as well as resolve to close out a successful campaign.

And there you have it! This is how an Olympian, 7-Time NCAA Champion, and successful entrepreneur sets his goals in order to get the most out of his time.

 

Joel, myself, and everyone from Addicted2Success.com wish you a super successful 2015!!!

Jared Kleinert is an entrepreneur, TED and keynote speaker, and award-winning author who’s been named USA Today's "Most Connected Millennial" after spending years identifying and connecting hundreds of the world's smartest and most talented Millennials. His next book 3 Billion Under 30 is out now, and you can get 5 free stories from his new book atwww.3billionunder30.com. You can also say hi at jared@3billionunder30.com.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dr poonam yadav

    Feb 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Its a really very inspirational article …at least its guide fr everyone hw to plan ur path ..so u cn easily reach up to ur goal

  2. Eucharia Okoli

    Dec 31, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Amazing and inspiring article. The beautiful thing about it is that, its so timely. I have always wondered how i could set goals that i could also follow through and fulfill. But thank God i glriously read this article with the greatest strategy ‘of my daily and short term goals should reflect my longterm goals’ Thanks alot for giving us beautiful and inspiring articles in 2014, i am personally motivated by all of them and i know 2015 can only be better. Remain blessed.

  3. Sam

    Dec 31, 2014 at 2:48 am

    This is a great article. It shows that to really achieve our goals we need to be very specific about what are goals are. When we focus on specific goals we open up neurological pathways in the brain that help us to find ways to achieve success. So many new year resolutions fail because the goals are not specific enough and also forgotten about! We need to be specific and maintain focus. Thank you for an inspiring article!

  4. KK

    Dec 30, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Great article. You are correct in stating that your daily and weekly goals MUST reflect your long term goals.

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