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Use Olympic Inspiration to Help You Meet Your Money Goals

Need some inspiration? Nothing beats Olympic inspiration when it comes to winning at life and your money. Seriously — let me show you.

The person owning an Olympic medal embodied the best performance that the human race had to offer at a given point in time.

The performance they gave to win that medal reflected all of the efforts, training, and persistence of every athlete in the world who competed against one another and pushed each other closer to the outer edges of human ability. Those few people that define the outer edge of human ability are the ones that make it to the Olympics, by pushing the gold medal that much further away from the average person’s reach.

This is the result from training their bodies in grueling workouts, eating specific diets, purposeful meditation, and visualizing. Yet all of that effort — rearranging one’s entire life over the course of years — is not necessarily enough to secure a seat in the Olympic competition.

Olympic medalists have experienced incredible pressure both physically and mentally.

Yet many of them found a zone of intense focus that allowed them to perform at incredible levels. Having spent years developing their bodies, honing their minds, and then days competing at this peak performance, I am confident that Olympians have some wisdom to pass along to the rest of us.

Psst: Ever wondered how do Olympic athletes earn a living?

Here are some quotes from Olympic athletes who have met their personal goals and how the wisdom can help the rest of us meet our financial goals. Talk about some awesome Olympic inspiration!

Quote: “…I'm not going to limit myself by nominating times or anything like that. I never thought I'd do 14:34 and I did. I thought I'd maybe do 14:38 or 14:39 that day, and I went nearly five seconds quicker so I don't want to limit the possibilities”.  Grant Hackett

My father said something similar to me many years ago when I defined a boundary for myself.

He said “Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t limit what you might be able to do.” I love to define limits, specifically in finances. This could be the 50% I wish to save of our after tax income in 2012, or the number in my head that I want to be making in income by the end of the year. It makes me comfortable in my capabilities of achieving goals. But what if I didn’t call out my own limits ahead of time? What if I just kept going until my mind and body told me it was time to stop? Who knows how far I might go.

A way I have found to combat my natural tendency to set my own limits is when I reach a goal, I go a step further. If I still feel comfortable and capable, I take it a step further. For example, if you save the amount that you wanted for yourself, save an additional few hundred dollars on top of that. If that feels good, go for another few hundred dollars. If you have made your debt-paying goal for the month, stretch yourself further by throwing an extra $50 more onto the payment.

Quote: “…champions are made by the things you accomplish and the way you use your abilities in everyday life situations.” – Bob Beamon, world record holder for long jump from 1968 to 1991. 

It’s not necessarily the large decisions that will help us to meet our goal but rather the smaller, everyday decisions we are met with that we can make a real difference. Being a true champion for our goals and causes happens when we make the decisions each day to work towards what we want. We may not be completely out of debt, but we don’t need to stop at the store on the way home to add to it. We may not have saved as much money as we wanted to last month, but today we can choose to figure out how to do better next month.

Being a true champion for our goals and causes happens when we make the decisions each day to work towards what we want. Click To Tweet

Quote: “Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn't be done, all it takes is an imagination.” – Michael Phelps, 16-time Olympic medalist in swimming events. 

Do you ever feel like reaching your financial goal is so impossible that you might as well not even try? Have you successfully pushed a goal to the back of your head (though unsuccessfully stopped feeling guilty about doing so)? How about allowing yourself to say this goal out loud, perhaps even write it down, even if you have no idea how you will reach it. By declaring it, your mind will begin to think around it and offer up some creative solutions. You begin to think outside of the box, and to think differently than others. This will help you to find unseen opportunities to get further towards your goal, even when others say it cannot be done.

Quote: “When I was younger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was a mentor to me and gave me great advice. The best was to ‘work 100 percent, but enjoy every moment along the way…” – Allyson Felix, two-time silver medalist at the 200 meters, gold medalist at women’s 4×400 meter relay team. 

I don’t know if you’ve come to this conclusion yet, but the truth I have found is that life is the journey, not the destination. It is wonderful to meet your goals, but most of life is spent getting to your goals, not basking in the results. If you are not finding ways to enjoy yourself while on the way to financial success, then you will have wasted too much of your life.

Quote: “I concentrate on preparing to swim my race and let the other swimmers think about me, not me about them.” Amanda Beard

One big key to happiness in life is to not focus too closely on other people’s lives and circumstances, which can lead to comparisons. This is very true in finances (ever hear the phrase “keeping up with the Jones’?). Every person is given talents, resources, heartaches, and sorrows. While we may focus on all of the positives others have, we tend to look past the hard work they have put in, or the sorrows they have endured and compare our lives solely against their accomplishments and blessings. Instead, we need to count our own blessings, and to be happy for others in theirs. Focus on our own lives more and what we can work on, and we will most likely learn what is working for us and what to scrap. This will bring us all much closer to feeling like we have “enough”.

One big key to happiness in life is to not focus too closely on other people’s lives and circumstances, which can lead to comparisons. This is very true in finances. Click To Tweet

Quote: “I have been visualizing myself every night for the past four years standing on the podium having the gold placed around my neck.” Megan Quann

Do you visualize where you will be when you meet your goal? How will your life have changed? Can you see yourself in this new way? Athletes find this immensely helpful in meeting their goals, and so can you.

Quote: “Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can't handle!” – Sanya Richards-Ross, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 400 meters. 

You heard the woman: get off of the couch and do something. If you fail, you fail. But at least you won’t be wondering two years from now if your plan would have worked and what things might have been like if you had just tried. Besides, the quicker you act on something the faster you can weed out what doesn’t work.

The Olympics games are exciting – I love the summer Olympics and the winter Olympics. I’m really looking for some inspiration to meet my own, personal life + money goals, and I love how this article takes quotes from athletes to offer Olympic and gymnastics inspiration for my own life. #olympics #moneygoals #inspirational
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Amanda L Grossman

Personal Finance Writer and CEO at Frugal Confessions, LLC
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here or on LinkedIn.


Wednesday 1st of August 2012

Amanda, your post is great way to capitalize on current events and draw attention to a very important issue at the same time...


Wednesday 1st of August 2012

Thank you Glenn!


Monday 30th of July 2012

Sports is a metaphor for life! Many professional and Olympic athletes are very successful in business. The necessary skills for success in sports can be applied to a lot of things including personal finance.


Monday 30th of July 2012

Hi krantcents! Thank you for your thoughts, and Happy Monday!

I believe men's swimming is on today?