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Michael Phelps’ fame as an Olympic gold medal winner for swimming is well earned. Phelps not only provides aspiring athletes with an example of sportsmanship and swimming ability, but also serves as an inspiring example goals setting and achieving them. Phelps’ success at the 2012 Olympics illustrates several important principles about goal achievement:

Don’t keep your goals to yourself.

It can be risky to commit yourself to a goal by telling others about it. If you fail, you have to deal with embarrassment on top of your feelings of disappointment or frustration. Phelps demonstrated absolute confidence in himself by declaring publicly that he would win eight Olympic gold medals. Undoubtedly, his public commitment to this goal helped spur him on to success.

Observers and Stakeholders.

Michael Phelps always enrolled a team around himself of observers and stakeholders, who were committed to support him to fulfill his goals, they included his mom, Debbie Phelps, his coach and his teammates. Not only stakeholders can provide advice, they also keep you accountable.

Take action.

Some people think that all you have to do is believe in yourself and your dreams will come true. While faith in yourself is important, taking action is equally important. Phelps trained for years to mold himself into an excellent swimmer. Similarly, you can take one step at a time towards your goal. Believe absolutely you can achieve your dream in order to motivate yourself to keep going.

Embrace and overcome challenges.

Michael Phelps’ phenomenal success is even more amazing to some people because he suffers from ADHD. Many people consider ADHD or other differences to be disabilities. The reason Phelps was able to succeed was that he viewed it differently. Having ADHD presented extra challenges that he had to overcome to succeed as a swimmer, but he refused to let it stop him. Instead, he used the excessive energy and hyperfocus that come with this “disability” to help him succeed. Similarly, you can refuse to use your weak points as excuses and instead turn them into strengths.

Refuse to give up.

During the 2008 Olympics, Phelps was unable to see because of leaky goggles and had to find another way to achieve his goal. Similarly, you should see setbacks as another type of challenge and find a way to keep moving forward.

If you’re looking for some extra help goals setting and keeping track of them, check out Objectiveli. Our tools can help you track your progress towards your personal goals. Objectiveli also creates a structure of inviting observers and stakeholders, and keeping them in the loop of your progress.



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