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An olympic sized distraction

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I am excited. I love the Olympic Games for a number of reasons. Firstly, as I was formerly involved with the preparation of some of Australia’s best swimmers I am looking on with a personal understanding of the effort and commitment that has gone into their preparation to achieve their personal goals.

Secondly as always I will be looking to see stories of courage, personal triumph, sportsmanship and peace on a world scale. During the next month you are possibly going to find yourself challenged by the distractions of the Olympics Games.

How are you going to juggle the requirements of completing your schooling, your studies as well as witnessing the sporting and human dramas which are the Olympic Games?
I remember being in a similar situation during the 1996 Olympic games whilst sitting my University exams. All I can say to you guys is that it requires a certain type of commitment not to get caught up in the hype and excitement of the Games. In a recent article we looked at the difference between motivation and inspiration. Understanding what motivates us can be one of the most important tools in our success toolkit. You see, if you know what truly motivates you, you are far better equipped to achieve your goals, to find alternate strategies when things get tough, and to have less stress in your life.

As we mentioned previously a far more powerful state than motivation is inspiration. As opposed to motivation which depends upon external forces (e.g teachers, parents, coach etc) inspiration is a force for change that comes from within. Inspiration provides you with the energy and focus you require to make transformational change. Because it is an internal process, you do not require the motivation of others or external influences to compel you to succeed. In contrast to external motivation, when you become inspired there are very few forces on earth that can stop you. However, the next few months may be a time when you need to get all the motivation that you can to help you stay on track for VCE success.

Here are a few tips to help your grades survive the Olympic Games.

1. This is a great time to re-visit the goals you set for yourself earlier in the year. A reminder of your goals is often a powerful motivator to keep you moving forward.

2. Surround yourself with inspirational quotes. I remember that I had a poster stuck to my wall in 1996 of a man running in the dark that said “It is 5.00 am, 2 degrees below zero, it is raining….are you serious?”. I still to this day remember this quote when I am off purpose or questioning whether to do something or not. Ask yourself “are you serious about VCE success”.

Another quote I quite like is that “Successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t”. Notice that it does not say that unsuccessful people can not do it, the quote states that successful students simply choose to do the things that unsuccessful students choose not to do.

3. Create a study plan that takes into account the most important things in your life. We call it putting the big rocks in first. That is by timetabling the most important things in your life first you will not run out of time to complete the essentials.

For example rank from most important to least important the following tasks: school, study, family commitments, work, sport, leisure time (this may include watching TV or chatting with friends), sleep, eating well, other.

Now, starting with the highest priority task to help you achieve VCE success, write into your weekly plan when, and how much time you need to complete that task.

Repeat this process for the next most important task and so on until you get to the end of the list.

If you get towards the end of the list and there is no time left in the week it will be the least important tasks that will be deferred or eliminated and not the most important.

4. Take advantage of the PVR or Foxtel iQ. Check out the timetable of the Olympic Games and make plans to tape those events that you absolutely must watch. Then when it fits into your timetable you can watch it at your leisure (as well as being able to fast forward all the ads & boring bits).

5. Imagine that you are the coach of an Olympic Champion Student. What would you say to yourself in preparation for this VCE? What would you instruct yourself to do to ensure VCE success?

Remember, we can help you with the strategies, tips, and even the motivation but the inspiration, perspiration, and commitment to success needs to come from you.

Until next Time,

Yours in Success,

Dr Matt

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