The secret to reaching your goals (by an Olympic athlete)

Few people better understand what it takes to reach your goals than Olympic athletes. So we were delighted when one agreed to share their secrets with us!

Zoe Gillings-Brier is Britain’s most successful Snowboard Cross athlete of all time. With three winter Olympic Games, seven World Cup podiums and many multi-national titles under her belt, she’s a woman who’s motivated for victory.

We have been lucky enough to speak to Zoe about her sporting success, as well as her current pregnancy and work as a brand ambassador.

The secret to reaching your goals (by an Olympic athlete)

We also asked Zoe for her tips on working towards achieving an ambitious goal – and she was kind enough to share four key pieces of advice with us.

1) Make a clear commitment

Before you begin working towards your goal, you have to be completely clear about what you want. This is no time to be vague; concentrate on the specifics.

One of my goals at the moment is to ensure I am able to get back into training after my pregnancy to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics. I have made it clear that competing in the Winter Olympics is my goal; not simply to get back into snowboarding after my pregnancy, but to compete in a specific event.

Think about what you want and what you may have to sacrifice to get it. Be clear from the beginning and make sure you are working towards something you definitely want; you can’t have a half-hearted attitude if you want to achieve success.

2) Plan, plan, plan

No one achieves their ambitions overnight. If there is something you want, you have to plan how you’re going to get it. If you break your main goals into smaller steps, and plan when and how you will achieve these steps, it makes it easier to see your progress.

For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, plan your weekly running routine and research how you can make it from your current longest distance to the full 26 miles. Look at how much time you have to prepare, what kind of setbacks you might be faced with, and how often you can fit in a training session. Planning will be essential to your success.

3) Keep track of your progress

When you have been working on a long-term goal for a while, it can be easy to get disillusioned. During training seasons, it can often feel like I’m hitting a wall and not moving anywhere. It’s times like these when I remind myself just how far I have come.

Whether it’s shaving a few seconds off my personal best or even just training for longer than the day before, I look at the small achievements I have made while working towards my main goal. It keeps me going when I feel down and reminds me of what I’m working towards.

Keep track of the little achievements you make along the way to keep you going and to remind yourself of how well you’ve done.

4) Don’t fear failure – strive for success

This mantra can apply to sport, business, weight loss or pretty much any goal you’re working towards. So many times I have seen people who are afraid of failure quit if they stumble at the first hurdle.

Failure is a natural part of success. Facing a small failure, a missed goal or a minor setback does not mean that everything you have been working towards should be lost.

To achieve your ambitious goals, you need to have success in mind at all times, even when you fail. Don’t be afraid to take chances due to fear of failure, don’t give up if you have a set back and keep pushing even when you feel like the odds are against you.

People don’t see that for almost every successful person, their path towards that success is littered with failures. If you set clear goals, work hard, plan as much as you can and forgive yourself, you will be well on your way to achieving what you want.

Zoe Gillings-Brier is Great Britain’s top Snowboard Cross athlete, and is currently brand ambassador for defibshop UK, the country’s number one supplier of AEDs.