by Kibwé Johnson
It’s 2018. ‘New year, new me,’ and all that jazz. We’ve all done it before. If you’re anything like me, you’re already pretty comfortable with the person you are in this moment. That’s not to say I’m too cool to never continue to improve myself as a man, as a father, as a husband, etc. That’s to say most of us predominantly already are who we are. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Yet we still can, and must improve.
Athletes do many things well to maintain motivation on a day to day basis. Aspiring and Olympic level athletes spend 4–8 years at minimum just to make one single Olympic team. Depending on your event, all of that time may be spent training and motivating yourself for what is sometimes as little as less than a minute of total competition time. The absurdity of that fact gets me every time.
Funny thing, I would do it all over again.
Being an Olympian is much more than earning your way to the greatest competition on earth. It is about the grind. The process changes you to your core. Even if an athlete started for selfish reasons, they are changed from within through the process of ‘Olympianism.’ This is what can be learned by anyone seeking to take control.
A big part of being an Olympian is just getting up in the morning. Attacking each day with the same vigor and reckless abandon that is usually reserved for daredevils jumping out of perfectly functioning airplanes.
Waking up like an Olympian starts the night before.
Most days that aren’t dedicated rest or vacation days, I follow a simple method of operation.
- I like to lay out my clothing.
- I will get all of my items for work together. Be it, bag, specific items that I may need, etc.
- If you take your lunch to work or school, make as much as you can the night before.
- I love coffee. Get your coffee station ready to go. Nothing worse than being in a rush in the morning, and choosing to forgo coffee.
The general idea here is to control what you can and eliminate inefficient, time wasting tasks. The more you control the things you can actually control the more empowered you will become. The more empowered you become, the more inclined you will feel to continue to attack your days.
Go to Bed
Listen to your body and go to bed. Turn off the Netflix. Quit Instagram. For goodness sake, stop reading the news. Put your phone on airplane mode, and go to sleep. Your body and mind will thank you for it. If going to sleep is hard for you, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier every night. Any progress is positive!
Personally, I set my alarm allowing for one snooze. I just like it, it’s just a thing I’ve done for as long as I can remember. Occasionally, I will put my alarm on horn alarm. You know the one. It’s abhorrent. My wife especially hates it. But it gets the job done every time. So pick one you hate! Lastly, every once in a while if those methods are not working as well as they should, I will put my phone away from the bed so I have to get up to turn it off. I HATE that but it’s effective. Sometimes you just have to be uncomfortable.
Plan of Attack
Wake up knowing it’s going to be a great day. Rituals are a major part of an athletes day to day operations. We are strange animals in that respect, but it works for a reason.
Write goals for the day. This doesn’t need to be a long, drawn out process. Literally 3–5 minutes. However, it does require the discipline to do it. Having a plan is the best way to stay on task and continue moving forward toward your goals.
Each day is a new opportunity to get after your goals. So be good to yourself! You’re alone with yourself all the time, you might as well like you.
Be kind to yourself! If you miss a morning, no worries! Don’t beat yourself up. No judgement. Just plan ahead and make the next day yours to dominate.
We athletes live to dominate whatever we set our sights on. Athletes and entrepreneurs are extremely similar in that regard. The secret to dominating is knowing that the mindset is contagious and can be learned and developed easily (like by opening your medium app and reading and loving this post). The will to dominate must be intrinsically centered. Accomplish your goals for you. No one else. More often than not, the successful Olympians are intrinsically motivated. Those that seek motivation elsewhere are easily done in by external noise, derailing them from their goal. What successful entrepreneurs have you heard about that didn’t have a borderline unhealthy obsession with their work?
Each morning, get your mind right and get ready to attack! Life is not easy. Give yourself permission to achieve your desires because you deserve them. Getting up for the day is the first step.