It took me years to work out how life works, so I thought I’d share what I learnt and make it a little easier for you! For example, I have been doing modelling competitions/pageants for more than 6 years now. I started out sometimes placing, sometimes not. But once I started winning, I almost always won and most recently I just won the biggest swimwear pageant in the world, Miss Swimsuit USA International. It’s these attributes of learning how to be successful that I applied to not just my competitions, but in every other area of my life too, my fitness training, boxing, business, relationships… everything. Want to know my winning formula?
1. Make Goals. Without goals, you have no direction and nothing to achieve. The more specific (and realistic) you make your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. Years ago, I used to train just to “look good”. Which was fine initially, but once I reached my goal, I found it very difficult to stay motivated. Unless I had a shoot or fashion show coming up, self control often went out the window and laziness would take over, which is not ideal from an overall general health perspective. When I took up boxing, this added a whole new dimension to my training. It was no longer about just doing “enough”, it was about going over and above in my diet and training to be the best I could possibly be, and I am tested when I spar or fight. So when you make goals, I find it helps to make them specific, with a time-limit and a way of testing yourself on them; eg. to run 400m in under 1 minute, or to make half a million $ this year. When you reach your goals, make new ones!
And remember: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”
2. Believe you can. Having the right mindset is everything in this little game called life, and if you can’t see yourself as a success, you’ll never be a success. True story. Since my big win at Miss Swimsuit USA International, probably the most common question I have been asked is “did you expect to win?”, which is when I realise that even though I didn’t “expect” it, the whole week I never really considered any other possibility. I didn’t think “oh she’s got a better dress than me” or “oh she looks better than me on camera” or “I think I’d be happy just to place in Top 10”. Even though all of these things may have been true to one girl or another, I just focussed on what I had to offer and never really thought of myself as anything other than being the winner. If you compare yourself to everyone else around you and look for reasons as to why they are better than you, you’ll never be the best. If you look at everyone around you, find your point of difference and exude positivity and the confidence that you have at least one little thing going for you, people will see that confidence, be attracted to it and start to believe it too. And when other people believe in you, it makes it even easier to believe in yourself.
3. Solid work ethic. Recognise that not everything comes easily, or is going to fall in your lap. Get off your ass and get stuff done, even when you least feel like it. When you don’t know the answer, find it out. If it doesn’t work the first time, try a different way. Find your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. And don’t stop until you reach your goal.
I learnt this lesson recently with a boxing fight I went into. After easily winning my first two fights, I underestimated what I would need to put in to continue to win. When I was tired (often) I would let it get the better of me, and become mentally weak in my training. Although I still improved my skills, my work ethic suffered and I believe this to be the reason I lost the fight; when I stopped for a break, I gave my opponent an opportunity. Which is why even though my next fight is not even on the caledar yet, I have been training harder than ever, especially when I don’t feel like it!
4. Prioritise. When you seriously want to achieve a goal, you must make that one thing priority. Contrary to what others may tell you, forget about “having a balance in life” until you reach your goal; you can’t have everything at once!
If someone told you they would give you $5000 not to eat crap for a month (or whatever steps you needed to take to reach your particular goal), would you do it? I bet you would. But people are willing to go and pay that and more for procedures like liposuction, before they’ve even put in the effort to try and get in shape naturally. Fair enough if you’ve done everything you can and are still unhappy, but for those that the lack self control to just eat properly, consistently, work out your priorities!
5. Dedication and Commitment. When you are amped about a goal, it’s easy to put in the extra time and effort to get there. But dedication and commitment is about working hard beyond the honeymoon period. Anyone can be an expert at something if you spend enough time studying or working on it, Bill Gates says 10,000 hours.
When I first started working as a personal trainer, it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done, because it was nothing like anything I’d ever done. There were so many things I completely struggled to understand or remember, I was put in situations way out of my depth. I thought about quitting. But I didn’t, because I visualised where I wanted to be and committed myself to my goal. And now 5 years on, I’m thankful
6. Positive support network. This is more than just cutting the negative people and influences from your life, but also surrounding yourself with people that will help you get where you want to be. When I decided I didn’t want to be a wild party girl anymore, I stopped hanging around all my closest friends, who were also my encouragers and instigators. Yes, at first it was a little boring, but you find fun in other things and make new friends and strengthen other relationships by doing new activities.
Having a mentor, preferably one who is at the top of their field, is essential to fast-track success. Be willing to let them harshly critique you without taking offence; remember they have made the mistakes you don’t want to. The thicker your skin and more open your mind, the more successful you can be. Take everything on board, do your own research and ask as many questions as you can.
And one more thing – do things for other people. Like, go out of your way, without expecting a thing in return. Not only will it make you a better person and one that others will want to be around, but every now and again, one of them might want to help back. What goes around comes around.
7. Intrinsic Motivation. This is the one thing of all the above that will make or break you. You either want it or you don’t. This is the passion, the burning desire you must have from within to want to achieve whatever goal you have. If you don’t really want it, you probably won’t get there. So find your passion within your goal, the thing that really drives you, why you really want it, how it will make you feel when you get there.
Not set yourself some goals and go kick ass!!!!