“Believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
That’s the inspiring message Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle (Gabby) Douglas imparted to a room full of students eager to make their own impact on the world. The event was held at Publicolor where Douglas teamed up with Post-it Brand to inspire young people to achieve their dreams by setting goals—and crushing them—like she did.
Douglas took the world by storm when she made history at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. There, she won two gold medals: one in the team and the other in the individual all-around competitions. She was the first woman of color to take home the gold in the individual all-around. Continuing to etch her name in history, Douglas won a team gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.
And the key to her success: She wrote down her goals, created a vision board, and then visualized her goals as a way of making her dreams come true. Douglas credits this game-changing idea to her mother. Douglas’ mom taught her about the power of goal setting and vision boards at age 9, and ever since then, she has been utilizing this technique to not only accomplish her childhood dream of going to the Olympics, but her other goals as well.
For Douglas, goal setting transforms the mind. “When I started doing it, it helped me so much because I just pictured myself being there, being in the moment,” Douglas reflected. Adding: “You’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down.”
With that in mind, thankfully, Douglas gave us a sneak peek into her process.
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For youngsters who are unsure of their goals, Douglas has some helpful tips. Think about “what you want to do, what you want to achieve, and who you want to be as a person and as an individual.” And “[the goal] doesn’t have to be active. It just has to be something that you have a passion for.”
Once you’ve written down your goals, it’s time to “get creative.” Your board doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s: “Add your own style,” Douglas said, noting that her mom helped her add glitter and fashion to her board. Today, you’ll catch Douglas writing down her goals on sticky Post-it Notes.
And what’s most important: Put your goals where you can see them such as on the wall, a vision board, or snap a picture and use it as a screensaver.
The last critical step involves visualizing your goals. “Whatever you want to do, just picture yourself there,” Douglas explained. “Imagine yourself being in that moment.”
After reflecting on some negative media attention she received just before the 2016 Olympics, Douglas offered up some sage advice for dealing with naysayers: “I say you can do it. It’s all in your mind. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.” And instead of saying, “I can’t,” say, “I can.”
Following this inspiring event, Douglas spared a few minutes from her jam-packed itinerary to give our readers a little more insight on how they can accomplish their own feats and to share some of her goals.
Some goals may take a little longer to achieve than others. What tips or strategies can you offer to youngsters on how to handle that?
It’s true. Some goals are a little bit harder than others and take a little longer to achieve. It’s a process. I’ve been doing gymnastics for 14 years and it’s a process. And getting on the Olympic team was also a long process. I was the reigning Olympic champion and I had to qualify for the Rio games, and I had to qualify for certain competitions.
So just stay patient. There was one Post-it Note on [the board] that said, “I just want to stay patient.” And that really spoke to me because this is so key: Don’t get frustrated and stay patient. And just stay in the game.
You mentioned that your mom taught you about goal setting and vision boards. From that experience, is there anything you can share with parents on how they can help their children achieve their goals?
My mom helped me when I was 9 to create my vision board. Ask your kids if they need help. Also ask them: What do you want to do? What do you want to achieve? And be there for them without adding extra pressure. You have to balance pushing your kids while at the same time loving them. And don’t live your dream through them. It’s their passion. It’s their goal.
What are some of your current goals?