Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Miller on “The Gold Medal Mindset” (HPC: E20)

Shannon Miller is a 7-time Olympic medalist – the record for America – and has over 100 national competition medals in gymnastics as well, more than half the gold kind. People in our generation certainly remember her name from the “Magnificent Seven” team gold winners in the 1996 Olympic games, where she captured the first balance beam gold an American had ever achieved. She’s no stranger to hard work and success, obviously, and she went on after gymnastics to study marketing and entrepreneurship and even earn her law degree from Boston College.

Then life got a little crazier – she had her first baby in 2009, launched her company “The Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women” in 2010, and in 2011 was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Now that’s a full plate and plenty of challenges, but Shannon used her Olympic grit to triumph in all areas, had another child in 2013 and wrote a book to inspire others to overcome their own personal challenges. Today we get to talk about mindset and goal setting and how parents can encourage a gold medal mindset in their children, even if they’re not into athletics.

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

Gold Medal Mindset Video Time Stamps

  • 0:51: Shannon is an Olympic gymnast and has over 100 national competition medals (over half of them gold!). She’s a mom to 2, and ovarian cancer survivor. Today we’re talking about mindset and goal setting.
  • 2:05: Let’s start with something fun! Shannon shares a little bit about competing in gymnastics, how she got to the Olympics, and a behind the scenes story.

There's always going to be something that you didn't prepare for. How are you going to react to it? -Shannon Miller

  • 4:59: As a parent Shannon seeks to set goals, do what she can to be organized and then be present in each moment. She looks at life as less about balance and more about her priorities on any given day.

It’s less about trying to do a little bit of everything and trying just to do a few things really well. -Shannon Miller

  • 6:30: Shannon talks a lot about the “gold medal mindset.” She explains how she developed this idea and what it means. We learn lots of lessons through sports that can be applied to other areas of life.

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  • 7:22: Setting goals is part of a gold medal mindset. You can look at it as a simple to-do list, or go above and beyond to view your list as goals and prepare a plan to reach those goals.

You cannot control what happens. You cannot control how other people act. You can control how you react. -Shannon Miller

  • 7:37: You can control your reaction even when you can’t control anything else. The importance of a positive attitude is another key to a gold medal mindset. This includes how we talk to ourselves. When you catch yourself saying negative things to yourself try to reframe it in a positive light.
  • 8:25: As parents we often forget that we don’t have to do everything on our own. We can employ teamwork by calling on our support systems and resources around us.

Getting to that end goal doesn't mean that you have to do it all by yourself. -Shannon Miller

  • 9:19: A commitment to excellence doesn’t mean we need to expect perfection. It just means we want to do our best and expect the same from our kids.
  • 10:17: Shannon shares how she sets goals as a  mom. Rather than setting goals for her kids, she helps her kids set their own goals. Her kids are 5 and 8 so they’re setting weekly or daily goals rather than long-term yearly goals.
  • 11:28: Shannon’s family has three daily goals they all work on: laugh, learn something new, and say something kind to someone else.
  • 12:34: Shannon shares a story of her son doing a duathlon and how they defined winning.
  • 13:38: With kids, it’s important to not always focus on winning. You can also work to redefine winning as accomplishing their goal, not necessarily coming in first or getting good grades.
  • 14:13: It’s hard to accomplish goals that aren’t measurable. You also need to make your goals personal. It’s not your neighbor’s goal or your child’s goal: it’s your goal.

It's hard to "be healthy" without knowing what that means to you. -Shannon Miller

  • 14:50: The title of Shannon’s book is: It’s Not About Perfect. She explains how she developed that title.

Life is messy. And it’s sometimes in that imperfection that it’s the most beautiful. – Shannon Miller

  • 15:40: As a gymnast Shannon was always striving to get as close as she could to the perfect 10 score. In real life, it isn’t about achieving “perfect.” It’s about enjoying the messy moments with those we love.
  • 17:47: Shannon has a lifestyle business where her goal is to help women make their health a priority.

If we don’t take care of our own health, we may not be here to take care of all of those that depend on us. -Shannon Miller

  • 19:04: Shannon shares a story of a mom who began running with her son to support him, and she ended up completing a full marathon the next year!
  • 20:19: Shannon shares some of the things they focus on in her program that promote wellbeing. She has some free videos on YouTube.

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  • 21:09: In college, Shannon gained a lot of weight fairly quickly and didn’t know how to handle it. She’d never struggled with her weight and had never had to think about exercise because it had always been part of her life. She made the mistake of cutting out sugar cold turkey and then bingeing. She began changing her portion sizes instead of cutting things out entirely.
  • 22:46: Women tend to get overwhelmed by large goals like “run a 5K.” Maybe start with taking a run around the block. Break your goals into achievable, bitesize pieces.

Do what you can instead of worrying about doing everything or everything you can’t do. -Katie Kimball

  • 23:37: Shannon shares some habits and mindsets she works on with her kids to encourage them to be adventurous and healthy eaters.
  • 26:12: Being intentional and being an example are key when teaching kids healthy habits. Expanding your own palate to try a new food as a family is a great way to bring them into the adventure.

Healthy eating is not always easy, but it can be fun. -Shannon Miller

  • 26:40: Serving sizes are enormous these days. Shannon instills mindful eating by setting out a portion of a snack to enjoy rather than mindlessly eating from a bag. They try to sit down as a family and talk during dinner.
  • 27:29: Shannon’s family focuses on fueling their bodies for success. They discuss what food choices are best for the activity coming up to highlight how food helps us or hinders us.
  • 28:28: Kids can learn so much and it’s easy to not give them credit for their ability to make healthy choices and help out in the kitchen.

Resources We Mentioned

You can find out more about Shannon on her website.

Buy her book, It’s Not About Perfect, here.

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Shannon’s 10 min fitness videos

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