The habits don’t involve training like an Olympian or wearing those really tight outfits (unless you want to).
It’s pretty easy to be inspired as the Olympic athletes enter our living room for two weeks in the summer. We get to know a handful of the more than the 11,000 athletes competing in the Rio Games as we hear their stories of sacrifice and podium dreams. It’s fascinating to get into their minds and try to comprehend the drive and self-discipline involved and the countless hours of training to compete at such an elite level.
There’s no question that athletes at the Olympic level take their habits and routines very seriously. Here are some habits of Olympians that you can try to incorporate into your daily professional routine to go for the gold.
Start Your Day with a Good Breakfast. Ally Raisman, Gymnastics
Even if you’re not heading to the gym first thing in the morning, experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Gymnastics five-time medalist Aly Raisman’s routine includes a healthy carbohydrate like “a banana and maybe some kind of whole-wheat toast or granola with Greek yogurt and fruit.”
This routine gives Raisman the energy needed to train and compete at a high level. It’s important to fuel your body with foods that are whole and healthy and to say hydrated to perform at your best throughout the day.
Set Goals. Michael Phelps, Swimming
Even at 8 years old, Michael Phelps set goals and imagined a future as an Olympian, he explained during an interview with Joe Buck of Fox Sports, showing a “goal sheet” he had crafted as a child.
Now, 23 medals later, Phelps and his successes are “largely a product of his other-wordly ability to set and create goals.” He writes down his goals “in the form of times for various races” and checks them daily.
“I have my goals somewhere I can see them, so when I get out of bed I know I’m waking up to work on what I’m going to achieve,” he said.
Keep track of your accomplishments, career goals—wins, setbacks and achievements. Break everything down from where you’d like to be in five years to how you’re going to reach your goals like 8 year old Phelps, “I will accomplish those goals by concentrating hard, working hard, and coming to every practice.”
Visualize Goals. Carli Lloyd, Soccer
Taking goal setting one step further by visualizing yourself accomplishing them. Midfielder Carli Lloyd, prior to each match dedicates time to intense meditation to visualize various positive scenarios between her and the ball. In 2015’s World Cup final, she netted three goals and told the New York Times how she visualized scoring four in the final, adding that she was so in the mental zone at the start of the game that “I feel like I blacked out the first 30 minutes or so.”
Even if playing in the World Cup isn’t in your future, visualize yourself achieving the goals you want to accomplish such as doing well in an interview, getting that promotion, nailing that presentation, or negotiating your salary. Whatever it is, taking the time to envision yourself being successful beforehand, can be a big confidence booster and help to get you in the zone.
Get Enough Rest. Usain Bolt Track and Field
All that running at lightning speed for the gold medalist Usain Bolt needs adequate recovery time. For the fastest man alive, the Jamaican stated that after winning six medals in Beijing, his number one priority in his intense training regime is sleep, “Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.”
Bolt sleeps up to 10 hours a day. While that may not be possible, getting a solid eight should be the goal for optimum health and performance. Resist the urge to put work in front of letting your body rest. Like an athlete it also needs adequate time to recover.