Well it is certainly my favourite time of every four years!  Suddenly my television becomes more of a priority so that I can watch my much-loved athletes take on the world's best.   One thing I enjoy about the Olympics is hearing the stories of the athletes; how they got to be standing on the world's stage for their sport, the struggles they have faced and challenges they have had to overcome to be the best, as well as the stories of teamwork and sportsmanship.   

I was lucky enough to train alongside some of the Australian women's water polo team for a few years and I have seen first hand the one thing that impresses me the most about the athletes competing at the Olympics – their motivation.  For years, athletes juggle work or study commitments with rigorous training schedules; waking up at the crack of dawn, training for hours and hours each day and sometimes not getting to bed before midnight.  No matter how much pain they are in or how exhausted they are, when their alarms go off before the sun has come up they are there, ready to go.

What motivates and gives them the drive to keep going?  Their dream to represent their country at the pinnacle of their chosen sport - an opportunity that only comes once every four years.  While being an Olympic athlete is probably an extreme goal for every person to have, something to take from their passion and drive is the importance to set goals and to keep motivated.

At Overells, goal setting is something that we regularly do and is a big driver in keeping us motivated to do well and succeed for our clients and our firm.  No matter how big a job is, we start with the end goal in mind and break this down into smaller, more manageable tasks.  Each time a task within the job is completed, we can see our progress on track to completing the bigger goal.  This really helps us stay focused on motivated on the end-game, rather than being overwhelmed by the big job in front of us.  We also set ourselves team goals where we are rewarded if the target is met.  No matter how big or small, having some sort of reward or acknowledgment for meeting a target/goal/deadline gives us that bit of extra motivation to really excel and get things done efficiently.

While our reward may not be a gold medal, the lessons learned from our Olympians can be taken away and applied in many different aspects of anyone's life.  Whether it be in the workplace; setting achievable goals, or rewards for hard work that keep everyone focused, or taking steps to achieve a particular personal goal, don't underestimate the importance of efficient goal-setting and ensuring that you provide incentives for yourself to stay motivated.

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it." – Lou Holtz