02/08/2013 11:54 am ET Updated Apr 10, 2013

Where Do Our Top Achievements Come From?

During my senior year in high school, I decided I'd take up the popular sport of soccer to keep myself in shape during the off-season from skiing. Everyone told me it would really help my overall fitness for skiing. I didn't necessarily love soccer, but I was a fairly natural athlete, so thought I could excel at it and be a standout athlete on the team.

No matter how hard I trained, however, I didn't make any great improvements -- with soccer or my fitness. I put in a lot of time and energy, doing dribbling drills for hours on end, practicing shots on goal until the sun went down, and training sprints until my muscles gave out. Despite all the dedicated effort, I found that my heart just wasn't there at training. There was no passion to get out there every day. I was basically just going through the motions. The next year I pursued my old love, gymnastics, in the off-season and found that not only were my acrobatic and agility skills improving, but my overall health was, as well. My physical fitness scores had nearly doubled. For results, I just needed to follow my passions.

Without reading any further, pull out a paper and pen and write down your top five achievements in life. The achievements can be in your personal life, your professional life, from last week, or from 20 years ago. Just give a little thought to the things you feel were your standout moments or medal-worthy successes.

You will probably notice that these accomplishments align with what you love. Do you really think this is a coincidence? It is much less common to have great successes doing things we abhor.

If you truly pursue the things you are most passionate about, you will find that doing so helps you attain success. Put your passions at the top of your to-do list every morning and many achievements will likely fall into place.

Motivational Tips and Tools

As an Olympian, best-seller, inspirational speaker, and Biggest Loser motivational expert, I'm often asked for tips, tools, quotes and activities to help people reach their goals. I like to end all of my blogs with short tools that are driven from actual advice I've shared.

This week's tip:

Don't just set professional goals. Set emotional and behavioral goals for yourself as well. A successful lifestyle requires a change of thoughts and feelings. Making sure your mind is in the right place will help everything else fall into position.

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