5 Phrases to Think and Train Like an Olympian

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Move From Procrastinator to Olympian Level Peak Performer*

Peak PerformanceWho’s been glued to the 2012 Olympics like sequins on a gymnastic leotard? While watching did you wonder about the mental strength of these athletes as they compete and train? What separates them from us? You know, besides incredible talent, skill, training, youth, dedication, and prowess?


For one, they train their minds as well as their bodies. Instead of being procrastinators — as in “I’ll exercise tomorrow when I am not so hot, tired, busy ( _______ insert excuse here),” — they focus on what they can do in the present moment, no matter how small.  You can achieve your fitness goals more effectively by shifting just 5 phrases in your head from “Procrastinator” to “Peak Performer” talk.

On the Procrastinator Phrases team we have the following key players in the starting line-up:

  1. “I have to do this or that.”
  2. “Once I can finish the whole activity/ task, I’ll get going.”
  3. “This is big.”
  4. “I’ll start as soon as I can do this perfectly.”
  5. “I should get moving soon…er or later.”

On the Peak Performers team we offer a line-up of winning substitutes

  1. “I choose to do this or that.”
  2. “I can at least start.”
  3. “One small step is all it takes to start.”
  4. “A rough version is ok for now.”
  5. “Forget past and future and focus on NOW, just for now.”

Which phrases do you hear inside your head as you plan your workouts? Do you see the different perception of time between the performers and the stallers? Also super important is the perception of yourself as a person ruled externally (I should, I must, I have to) versus self-ruled (I choose, I decide). If you remember one key concept to train your brain to think more like an Olympian it’s to Have Presence in the Present. Focus on the Now. As in, leave a comment below or retweet this post now. Now, there’s a winning approach!

Procrastinator vs Peak Performer Talk

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* Ideas adapted from a presentation on Procrastination and Habits given by Neil Fiore, PhD at Rancho la Puerta Fitness Spa. Thank you Professor Fiore!

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