• Rob Olson

4 Tips for Improved Motivation

Picture this – Its April 19th in CT and it’s hailing … and raining … and snowing. Probably pretty easy to picture since that happened this morning! Sometimes weather like this makes it easy to put the autopilot on and just go through the motions. Use these 4 tips to get off autopilot and keep grinding towards your goals and crushing everything!

  1. Positive Self-Talk

  • “I got this”. I don’t know where that phrase came from or when I started saying it, but I can tell you one thing, this phrase got me through SEAL training. This may come as a surprise to some, but I was never a stellar athlete in high school. I liked athletics, but I never really excelled. Fast forward to when I was 23 years old, and I was in the most competitive and demanding military school the US offers. Every week, we were tested with 4 mile runs on the beach, 2 mile ocean swims, obstacle courses, drown proofing, and more. What got me through it? “I got this”. There was simply no other avenue to success except complete belief that I would succeed. When we ran the obstacle course, we had to PR every time or face devastating punishment. What helped me PR every time? “I got this.” I still apply this phrase all the time even after the military. CrossFit workouts, business, life … all of it. Any success in life starts with the simple act of believing.

  1. Find the Positive in Any Situation

  • Another trait of successful people is to find positivity in any situation. Rewind again to SEAL training. Hellweek is towards the beginning of SEAL training, and its when most guys quit (80%). Its five days long, and you only get three hours of sleep the entire week. Two days in, we were being surf tortured in the chilly Pacific Ocean a little after midnight. Ocean temperature was 58 degrees, air temperature was 60 degrees. Haven’t slept in over 48 hours while doing physically demanding events the entire time. What went through my mind? I vividly remember thinking “Wow, the stars are pretty incredible. How lucky am I to be awake at this time and this location to witness it!” Meanwhile, the guys that quit, they were thinking “I’m cold, this sucks”. Well, I was cold, and it did suck, but I found the positivity in the situation and it got me through it. We are presented with choices every day, and we must choose between an optimistic or pessimistic lens. Almost all events in life can be viewed positively, and I challenge you to find that mindset. It’s a game changer.

  1. Surround Yourself with Positive People

  • Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors … we have people chatting in our ear all day. How many of them exhibit positivity from paragraphs #1 or #2? I’ll tell you, its rare. When I was in college, I had a promising career in biomedical engineering coming up. I had just done a co-op at a pharmaceutical company. It was an incredible opportunity, and guess what, it bored me to death. It solidified in my mind my desire to enter the military. I made my decision, quit college, and enlisted in the Navy with the goal of becoming a SEAL. Guess how many people supported that decision? 9 out of 10 said it was a terrible idea. Fast forward, I was loving being a SEAL but did not love travelling 300 days a year. I made the decision to get out and open a gym. Guess how many people supported that decision? 9 out of 10 said it was a terrible idea. Now I need you to guess one more time, last time I promise, who do I associate with nowadays? The 10% that supported me. I keep my circle small. Each of us gets one life to make the most of it, and I refuse to let others impact me negatively. Find others that exhibit positivity and grab on to them. There’s a popular saying, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Take a minute and think about those five people. Do they encourage, help, and motivate you? Or do they discourage, dissuade, and bring you down?

  1. Set Goals

  • “He who aims at nothing is sure to hit it”. What do you want in life? Do you want to make more money, have more vacation time, be fit and healthy, have meaningful relationships … the list goes on to whatever your heart desires. The question is though, are you actively working towards it? When was the last time you asked your boss for a raise? Or for more vacation time? If you want to be fit and healthy, is going to the gym a priority for you, or do you routinely hit snooze? Do you prioritize your relationship and your partner? All too often we get caught up in the daily grind of commuting to work and answering emails that we rarely sit back and think “Is this where I want to be, and if not, how do I get there?” I challenge you to set goals for your life just as you would set goals for yourself in the gym. Be proactive, be relentless in your pursuit, and of course, be positive.

^ The author in Hellweek. All the crossed out names on the life preserver quit before me. Not sure why my hand is taped - I blacked that out.

About the author:

Growing up in Simsbury, I started playing ice hockey soon after I started walking. I continued to play up through high school, as well as playing lacrosse and running cross country at Avon Old Farms. In addition, I also played football, raced mountain bikes, skied (then) and snowboard (now). I also enjoy road biking if I have the free time. If it’s athletic, chances are I like it, and have done it. I was first introduced to CrossFit at BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL training) in 2008. I continued to use and benefit from CrossFit training during my time as a US Navy SEAL, with tours to Afghanistan, Africa, and Europe. I am very passionate about CrossFit, and whole heartedly believe everybody can benefit from it. CrossFit will not only get you in better shape, but the effects will translate into your personal and professional life as well, such as learning perseverance, commitment, teamwork, integrity, and community. The pursuit of health and fitness is a lifelong journey, and I have found CrossFit to be the most efficient and streamlined training method. Contact me at rob@cfsimsbury.com

My goal is to continually increase my general physical conditioning. I like to be strong while still having an endurance capacity.

Newport Marathon 2015 (3:53)

Ironman 70.3 Syracuse 2017 (6:40)

Ironman 140.6 Lake Placid 2017 (14:14)

Deadlift 525lb

Bench Press 315lb

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