With a few days left before I fly to Rio to support the GB Rowing Team in their build up to the Rio Olympic Games, there are lots of significant Milestones ahead which will be used by the coaches and athletes as more than just the basis for a check list.
In the build up to major events, and particularly the Olympics, there are many moments that matter and that represent great opportunities to take advantage of. Significant moments for many are days to look forward to and events to be ticked off as the count down to an end point continues. However, these Milestones can offer much more to you than simply being a reminder that you’re nearly at the end of an important journey!
Milestones and Meaning
Over the last few months and in the days that remain, there’s been an obvious emphasis on key milestones for the Olympics: 100 days to go, team announcements and final competitive performances before the Games.
For those who are plotting their way to peaking for the Olympics, these milestones and others that they focus on represent an opportunity to reinforce personal meaning. They’re also a moment to maximise a sense of control and confidence, with a particular focus on managing energy and mindset.
Milestones on your terms
Because milestones are known about in advance, they represent a great opportunity to decide well beforehand how you want to make the most of these moments when you find yourself in them. Whether it’s Olympic Kitting out, landing in your Olympic host city, or your first chance to train at your competition venue, there’s a great opportunity for these moments to be more than just another day ticked off the calendar.
We know when milestones are going to happen. This represents a great opportunity to decide in advance how you want to use it. For example, when the athletes go to the official British Olympic Association Kitting Out day, it represents a great opportunity to: realise the talents you have that have earned this moment, connect with the significance of representing your country and use the energy to focus on the final chances to improve further over the coming days.
With all of these milestones, they represent a chance to practice the all-important skill of choosing how you want to think and feel at key moments. Being able to choose your thoughts and emotions in the unique moment of and Olympic final is a key skill to have. Knowing you’ve practiced this skill many times in those moments that matter in the build up is another ingredient to boost the confidence that you’ve got everything you need to step-up and deliver when it matters most.
These moments are shared with other people, so as well as these milestones having a personal impact, they’re also important opportunities for a collective re-focusing and to connect as people who are another step closer to achieving something amazing together. At these key times, personal meaning with a sense of togetherness and support become a powerful combination.
Having a plan for how you want to exploit milestones is critical to offset the key challenges of:
- Feeling like time is running away, but needing to make every moment count and last as long as possible.
- Doing things for the last time in a career or a team and making sure this is a prompt to keep building rather than look back on what-if’s and maybes.
- Knowing you’re giving yourself the best chance to do something as well as you can rather than worrying about whether you’ve done everything perfectly.
All of us have key milestones ahead for our work and in our lives and just like the Olympians, if these milestones can be moments that we look forward to using and pushing on from, rather than simply being important dates to get to, then they’ll always be something to look forward to and that add high performance value.