10/05/2011 03:10 pm ET Updated Dec 05, 2011

The First Step to Climbing Your Mountain

When I started college, I had just broken onto the World Cup skiing scene, so I decided to pursue both ventures at the same time. The prospect of trying to find success in both skiing and academics was daunting. Getting through four years of school while trying to qualify for the Olympics was not an easy task. I just had to focus on each step as I encountered it. I put my full attention into academics when I was at school, and my full attention into athletics when I was skiing. I found the focus helped me excel in both areas and prevented me from having a breakdown on the journey to reaching both my goals.

It's so easy to become overwhelmed by any grand undertaking. Take an even more impressive example. I know a woman who was going through chemo for cancer when she decided to train for and climb Mount Kilimanjaro -- a mountain with an altitude over 18,000 feet. I know how hard it is to climb that high with full energy. A mutual friend asked her how she manages to climb 18,000 feet. She replied, "I don't -- I climb one step over and over again until I reach the top of the mountain."

Like this cancer survivor, we need to try to focus on the immediate goal. To tackle a big project, only think about the first step, then the second step, and so on until the project is completed. Keep reminding yourself of this impressive woman and take it one step at a time.

The great Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu wrote, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Focus on that first step.

Motivational Weight Management Tip

I've had the great honor of working with some "The Biggest Loser" contestants, and it has inspired me to leave motivational diet, health and wellness tips at the end of all of my blogs. These tools have been driven from actual advice I've shared.

This week's tip: Take Lao-Tzu's philosophy to heart. What is the first step you'll take today to reaching your weight loss goal? Don't overwhelm yourself with thoughts of endless exercise regiments, total diet reforms or total pounds you need to lose. Set one short-term goal for the day and then reward yourself (with an item that is not food-related) once you've accomplished this goal.