🥇 How to set goals like Michael Phelps

🥇How To Set Goals Like The World’s Top Athletes

You’ve got less than 2 months until 2024, and if you’re like most people…

This is about the time you start to set your business goals for next year.

So when I opened my laptop this morning, I thought “Who is the best person to take goal-setting (and achieving) advice from?”

After a few minutes, it came to me… athletes. 

From a young age, they learn to set and reach both physical and mental goals to perform at the highest level.

So, here’s the ultimate guide to setting goals (and sticking to them) using the same tactics as the world’s best athletes.

Here’s the gameplan:

  • 🎯 Set The Right Goal

  • 📈 Track Your Numbers

  • 🧠 Train Your Brain For Success

Read Time: 5 min 12 sec

🎯 Set The Right Goal

In business, everyone’s goal is to make more money. But that's not specific enough.

In a study, 300 Olympians were asked how they choose an ‘effective’ goal, and how they build their strategy to achieve it.

Here’s what they found:

  • Goals that were too high hurt the athlete more than helped

  • The ‘best’ goals are found by using past performance as a measuring stick

  • Olympians had ‘subgoals’ to help them stay on track

Here’s what this looks like for you:

#1 - Figure out the problem you want to solve

Once you pick a problem, explain how fixing this one problem will do one of these three things:

  • Make you more money (profit)

  • Make the business more valuable

  • Increase how much you make per client

If it does not directly relate to one of these three, you need a new goal.

#2 - Specify the goal

Exactly how many clients do you need to make a million a year? For how many years do you want your average employee to stay?

Make sure to choose the specifics based on your past trends.

EX - It took me x weeks to get here, so I should be able to reach Y in 1 year if I’m focused and consistent.

#3 - Create subgoals

“If you stand at the bottom of Mt. Everest and look up, you’re gonna say I’m not climbing Mt. Everest. But if you break it down into sections and just put one foot in front of the other… next thing you know you’re at the top”. - Kobe Byrant

Over 89% of the 300 Olympians used 2 types of subgoals:

  1. A metric. “Run a 4 min mile.”

  2. A habit. “I will run every morning for 6 weeks.”

For you, I recommend breaking your yearly goal into 12 monthly metric subgoals, and 3-4 habit subgoals you can track.

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📈 Track Your Numbers

Tracking your progress helps you do two things:

#1 - Helps to see if your goal will actually solve your problem.  

Remember, your goal should solve a problem that directly increases:

  • Profit

  • Business value

  • Client worth

So, let’s say your goal is to increase your profit by sending out 10K more emails a month.

But as you track your progress, you don’t see a correlation between emails sent and profit increase. Here, you’d most likely need to change your goal.

And the faster you see this, the faster you can find the right goal.

#2 - Keeps you consistent

Tracking forces you to answer for your actions. It’s a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If you’re writing ‘no’ more than ‘yes’… you know where the real problem is.

Kobe puts it perfectly…

“I’m not negotiating with myself…I signed that contract with myself, I’m doing it” – Kobe (via Jay Shetty)

I recommend building systems that have no room for ‘negotiation.’

Tom Brady takes tracking a step further… He tracks his emotional output.

Brady says “In the end for me it’s less about the outcome than it is about whether I put in the best effort relative to our team’s potential.”

Brady’s saying that simply checking off a habit isn’t enough. You need to track the effort you put into it.

You may want to grow your social media, but how much effort do you put towards your reels?

You may want to increase client LTV, but how much effort do you put into implementing feedback?

Don’t feel the need to write an entire journal about it. A simple score out of 10 will be helpful.

🧠 Train Your Brain For Success

I’ll be honest, at first, I thought ‘visualizing’ was pretty lame. Then I read this about Tom Brady:

“After the Patriots lost to the Broncos in the AFC championship game in 2016, Brady had a countdown clock installed in his home gym.”

Every day he woke up and looked at a clock counting down to his deadline.

Both Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas also swear by ‘visualizing your goals.”

Essentially it’s writing your goals down and forcing yourself to look at them every day.

Phelps’ vision board at 8 years old

In the book Psycho-Cybernetics, Maltz talks about the brain as a “servo-mechanism.” This means optimizing your brain to achieve your goals.

He says the key to setting clear and definite goals is through “creative imagination.”

AKA visualizing your goals to the smallest detail to encourage your brain to turn them into a reality.

“If you have a clear and definite goal, your subconscious will work night and day to bring it to pass.” - Maltz

Let us know your 2024 goals below!

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