Gareth Marshall

Adopt Athlete-like habits

Become a Business Athlete – Adopt athlete-like habits

It takes more than talent to turn a dream into reality. Professional athletes don’t make it by accident. Their success comes from their habits — the little things they do consistently. 

Creating new habits and following them sounds quite boring, however the opposite is the case. Positive habits are an enabler for high performance both mentally and physically.

Athletes’ success comes from their habits — the little things they do consistently.

With this in mind, I have had a look at 5 habits that you can adopt from athletes to succeed in the business world.

1. They have an action plan

Athletes have a plan. They have a clearly defined goal, a purpose for playing, and have established the habits that will ensure they perform at their best. On the road to finding your inner athlete, setting a goal is the equivalent of putting petrol in your car.

By creating an action plan for work, you will be able to remain focused on what is important for achieving your goal(s).

Your game plan: Develop your action plan. Set SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. And keep those goals at the forefront of your mind.

2. They focus on performance. 

Professional athletes are always focused on how they can get better. They appoint a coach / mentor that guides them everyday. They also spend time learning, researching ways to eat better, train harder etc.

One of the best things about life is that we never have to stop learning. There are always new skills to learn and techniques for us to adopt. When you look at the most successful people in the world, they understand this.

In business, the same is true. Inspiration and knowledge come from many sources. Continuous learning from reading books, watching TED talks, attending seminars etc gives you inspiration and motivation which in turn enables you to perform at your best.

Your game plan: Never stop learning. Self-growth is key to living a fulfilling life and having a successful career. If you are able to, having a mentor is just as important as they are someone who can guide you through your career.

3. They think like a Winner

Attitude is everything. You can have talent but without a positive mindset, you don’t know where to go with it. It’s the basis for your decision-making process. By thinking like a winner you are already training your mind to think differently and it will impact your approach to every situation.

Your game plan: Focus on keeping a positive mindset in all situations. Catch yourself when you’re about to respond with negativity, “I can’t do this”. Ask yourself whether there’s a more optimistic approach to the situation. Think like a winner.

4. They get sufficient sleep.

It may seem a bit odd to include. Sleep is one of the most undervalued aspects of recovery for both sport and business. It is something that I am really bad at but It’s something that top athletes take seriously.. 

Whether or not they know the science behind it, athletes intuitively recognize that they perform better, think more clearly, and react sooner when they’ve had good sleep. It takes just two or three nights of poor sleep to see a significant drop-off in performance.

Your game plan:The average person should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. This is not always possible but aim to get as close to this as possible. Just like the pros, you’ll notice the difference in your alertness and mood at work when you’re well rested.

5. They have grit.

Probably my favourite word. Grit.

Anyone who wants to take charge of their future must have grit. It takes hard-work and resilience to become a successful athlete or be successful in business. There will always be self-doubt. Fear of failure can be stifling. There will always be naysayers. However, you must hold firm in the face of adversity.

Your game plan:Have grit.

Having purpose is your fuel, but the habits you repeat every day are the roadmap that will deliver you to your destination. 

Following the above is not an exhaustive list or a perfect science but hopefully it aids on your journey to unleashing your inner athlete for success in business.

Build strong habits. Put in the time. Learn from your mistakes. Have grit.