You ever feel like you’re on a treadmill to success? Do you feel like you’re running as hard and as fast as you can, and yet, aren’t getting where you want to go?  If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you’re not alone. Many of us, including me, have felt this way at one time or another.

Hi, I’m Linda Zander, and I’m a medaled marathon runner. Being a marathon runner has taught me many invaluable life lessons. The most significant of which is how to optimally prepare to successfully run and finish the long distance race.

Success is like a marathon. It’s a long distance race that indisputably can be won—with the proper preparation. Successfully getting yourself across that finish line means that you’ve mentally and physically prepared yourself to “go the distance”.

Here Are the Top Ten Training Tips to Winning the Success Race:

  1. Run your own race. Listed at #1 for good reason. It’s the one factor, that if you ignore it, can result in failure. Comparing yourself, your performance and speed with others is a no-win situation. There will always be someone faster, slower, behind you or in front of you. The goal is to do your personal best and to be your own competition. Learning to focus on your own performance, rather than others, is a known skill of champions.
  2. Have a specific, targeted goal. Know exactly what you want and when you want to achieve it. Example: “I want to do a marathon” becomes: “I want to finish a marathon in 4 hours”, becomes: “I want to finish a marathon in 4 hours to qualify for Boston Marathon next year”. What’s your specific goal? Drill it down and have a target date of completion.
  3. Stick to a schedule. If you don’t stick to the game plan, you don’t got game. Highly successful people stick to a routine schedule. By making and sticking to a schedule you create a habit of success for yourself and prevent outside distractions from taking you off course.
  4. Work at your own pace. Everyone has their own innate work pace that is ideal for them that permits a balanced achievement of optimal mental and physical well-being. Pushing yourself to go too fast or allowing yourself to go too slow, can cost you the race.
  5. Eat, sleep and drink to support a strong body. How you decide to treat your body will have a direct effect on your outcomes. It’s a hard fact. If you want a winning strategy, you must include fueling your body and mind with only healthy habits.
  6. Know your strengths and weaknesses. It will pay off big time for you to be honest with yourself in your assessment of your assets and liabilities. A winning strategy takes into account how best to mitigate weaknesses.
  7. Use the right gear. Knowing, having and using the right tools is important to achieving success. The right tools will enhance peak performance and productivity. Are you ready to commit to acquiring and embracing the tools you need to thrive?
  8. Fuel your mind with positivity. Surround yourself with positive thoughts, images, people, places and things. We wouldn’t be human if we never had a negative thought, but allowing it to overcome us is optional. Each and every day see yourself successfully crossing that finish line.
  9. Become a member of a tribe. Running a race with those who share a common goal is one of the most rewarding and powerful experiences there is. Master mind groups share a spirit of giving, provide helpful feedback, act as accountability partners, and motivate and inspire you to stay on track, go the distance and achieve beyond what you could have ever possibly imagined.
  10. Practice self-control. None of the above can be achieved without exercising self-control. Self-control is the engine of success. Without it, we flounder, wander and wonder why we don’t have what we want. Self-control is a daily practice. If you practice it daily, it will become a habit that will continue to strengthen you. Self-control is a muscle that requires regular workouts to become big, strong and withstand pressure.

 “The battle is always won before you are on the battlefield.” Sun Tzu

In Closing My Shocking Confession: I have to be honest here. I’m the brand of person who wants everything to go fast. I remember when I used to play chess and a player told me about “speed chess” and I instantly (ha) thought “now that’s for me”.  But, the truth is, in spite of my inclination to want to go as fast as I can in all that I do, I’ve learned to use self-control in managing my mental and physical energy to allow for a more successful outcome. I’ve learned that if I rush everything and everybody, myself included, I just add unnecessary stress and wear and tear. And, rather than getting me across the finish line faster, it ultimately slows my time to success. I moderate myself daily not to go full throttle towards my goal, but rather to go fast enough to push myself outside my comfort zone, but not so fast that it injures my odds of achieving success.