Okay, I’ll admit it, I have Olympic fever! I don’t know about you, but this happens to me every 2 years. I get caught up in the personal stories of the athletes and their struggles to make it to the games. It would be so easy to be sucked onto the couch for the entire length of the games, especially since the events are spread out so that you can watch at almost any time of day for 17 days straight. I also love hearing the stories about what the athletes eat (who can forget hearing that Michael Phelps eats so many thousands of calories a day?) but it’s important to remember that if you are not a competitive Olympic athlete, you probably shouldn’t be eating exactly like them!
If you have Olympic fever like I do, why don’t you use that excitement to throw down a healthy challenge for yourself? It’s only 17 days, what do you have to lose? The opening ceremony isn’t until Friday night so you still have some time to plan out your challenge. Think about what your biggest obstacles are, to leading a healthy life and write them down. Once you have those, write down all of the ways that you can overcome those obstacles. One example might be that you never have time to cook healthy meals. To overcome this, you can plan to spend time in the evening when you would usually watch TV to scout around some quick healthy meals and write out a shopping list. Remember that a plan is your biggest ally when overcoming difficulties!
Use SMART goals to map out a plan for yourself and here’s where the Olympic fun can come in. Come up with a point system for yourself around your goals. If we use the example of cooking healthy meals, give yourself 10 points every day that you reach that goal and 5 on the days that you just barely get dinner on the table but still didn’t resort to take-out, and 0 when you gave up and just got McDonalds. Decide how many points will equal a gold, silver or bronze medal and what kind of reward you will give yourself for achieving each. Maybe you can plan a spa day for gold, a massage for silver and a pedicure for bronze. This could also become a competition between family members or friends, with each person working on their own personal goals.
Go for the gold – remember to encourage yourself while you’re at it, and reward all of the small victories along the way!