Champions Corner

5 Olympians share their advice on how you can exceed your goals

The Olympic rings is seen in Hoenggye town, near the venue for the Opening and Closing ceremony ahead of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
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The Olympic rings is seen in Hoenggye town, near the venue for the Opening and Closing ceremony ahead of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Team USA athletes have been finalized for the 2018 Winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea this month.

To become an Olympian, you must be strong both physically and mentally. So who better to ask about what it takes to meet and surpass your goals?

Here's what five members of Team USA told CNBC Make It about meeting and exceeding your expectations:

Ignore the naysayers

Aaron Blunck on December 15, 2017 in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Matthew Stockman | Getty Images
Aaron Blunck on December 15, 2017 in Breckenridge, Colorado.

There will always be people who doubt your abilities, says free-skier Aaron Blunck, 21. Ignore them and keep trudging forward, he tells CNBC Make It.

"Don't let someone try and bring you down," says Blunk, who in 2014 represented Team USA in the first Olympic ski halfpipe event. "Whether it's another competitor or someone that you work with or even just a friend."

Focus on yourself and on what you want to achieve he adds. "Hard work and dedication pays off."

And when someone does try and bring you down? Just brush it off.

"Go out there and be yourself. Be you," Blunk advises. "Don't let someone crush you and bring you down."

Do what makes you happy

Morgan Schild during the 2018 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley Resort on January 10, 2018 in Park City, Utah.
Tom Pennington | Getty Images
Morgan Schild during the 2018 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley Resort on January 10, 2018 in Park City, Utah.

It becomes much easier to exceed your goals when you're doing something that genuinely makes you happy, says skier Morgan Schild.

Once that's established, she says, "it takes hard work, dedication and focus" to actually achieve your goal.

Schild, who has taken home three top-10 World Cup finishes, says that after a recent injury, her main goal was to recover in time for the Winter Olympics.

"In order for me to get there, I had to put in the time at the gym. I had to go to the workouts. I had to go to the [personal trainer]."

The 20-year-old adds that there was also a mental component in pushing her body past its limits, noting that she went through pain and emotions.

However, she says, "that dedication and hard work that I had to do, that is what got me to this point."

Be confident in your abilities

Bob pilot Steven Holcomb of USA celebrates with his teammate Carlos Valdes after the 2nd run of the 2-man Bobsleigh BMW IBSF World Cup at Deutsche Post Eisarena Koenigssee on January 28, 2017 in Koenigssee, Germany.
Alexander Hassenstein | Getty Images
Bob pilot Steven Holcomb of USA celebrates with his teammate Carlos Valdes after the 2nd run of the 2-man Bobsleigh BMW IBSF World Cup at Deutsche Post Eisarena Koenigssee on January 28, 2017 in Koenigssee, Germany.

It's all about your mindset, says 28-year-old bobsledder Carlo Valdes. "You always have to go in there confident."

However, he adds, you can't approach winning thinking that you've already earned it and that it's owed to you.

"Prove yourself day in and day out," says Valdes. "You can't feel entitled to anything."

The bobsledder also warns against being complacent. "Work hard, keep your head down and always control what you can control," he says. "If you focus on those things, you'll be very successful."

Hold yourself accountable

Mikaela Shiffrin of USA in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on January 28, 2018 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Alain Grosclaude / Agence Zoom | Getty Images
Mikaela Shiffrin of USA in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on January 28, 2018 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, says that you must hold yourself accountable to meet your goals. That starts by actively speaking it into existence.

"If you have a dream and you're passionate about it then there's no reason why you shouldn't do it," says the Olympic gold medalist, who has been dubbed the best slalom skier in the world.

What stops most people from achieving success, she says, is being scared of those dreams and ambitions.

"People are afraid to say what their ambitions are. They're afraid to say that they want to do something amazing," says Shiffrin. "They don't want to tell it to other people. They don't want to say it to their self."

But it's important that you do so, she says, because by simply uttering what you want in life it forces you to hold yourself accountable to that dream. However, it doesn't stop there.

"You have to focus on [that dream] and you have to put in the work," the ski racer explains."And it doesn't mean you can't have fun but a lot of the fun is just learning how to enjoy the process of getting there."

Focus on the smaller goals

Gus Kenworthy trains for the Men's Ski Slopestyle final during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 14, 2018 in Snowmass, Colorado.
Matthew Stockman | Getty Images
Gus Kenworthy trains for the Men's Ski Slopestyle final during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 14, 2018 in Snowmass, Colorado.

Your end goal will seem less daunting if you focus on accomplishing smaller goals along the way, according to freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, 26.

"Stay focused, stay on track," he says, "but also [don't] focus too much on the end goal."

Kenworthy secured two silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and was recently named to Forbes 30 under 30. The Olympian tells CNBC Make It that too often we get "hung up" thinking about the future and that final goal.

Even if your final goal is as lofty as the Olympics, he says, there are so many smaller goals along the way and those need to be the things that you focus on each time.

Give priority to the next hurdle or the next issue at hand and then slowly make your way to your final destination, says the skier. "It's definitely a trek and not a sprint."

Video produced by Luqman Adeniyi

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See also:

Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel on defying the odds

The advice that helped Shawn Johnson East get over her fear of failure

5 daily habits Olympian Michael Phelps swears by

This is an updated version of a previously published story.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032.