Hint: It's all about taking things one day at a time.

By Faith Brar
Updated: November 21, 2017

Allyson Felix is the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history with a total of nine Olympic medals. To become a record-breaking athlete, the 32-year-old track superstar has had to set (and accomplish) some serious long-term goals-something she's come to master over the course of her career.

She has her eyes on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where she hopes to bring home gold in both the 200- and 400-meter sprint. But while she's keeping up with her workouts, she won't start intensive training until next year in preparation for the World Championships that'll be held in 2019. Even though that's a heck of a long time away, she's using every moment she has to prep-except for when she's helping train runners for the Special Olympics that will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2019. Talk about #goals.

"Goals that are so far out can be difficult," Felix recently told Shape. "I look at this time as a stepping stone. This year has allowed me to focus on more technical aspects of training while giving my body a break from the intensity of championship season."

Felix says it's all about taking it one day at a time. "If you have a long-term goal, break it down," she says. "Those smaller goals will be much easier to accomplish." (Related: Allyson Felix Shows Model Kai Newman What It's Really Like to Train As an Olympian)

ICYDK, 54 percent of people give up their resolutions (New Year's or not) within six months, and only 8 percent are still successful by the end of the year.

Felix lives by one hack that allows her to become part of that elusive 8 percent: "Write your goals down, including what you need to do to accomplish them," she says. "I journal all my workouts so I'm able to look back at what I've done day in and day out, and it's kind of like a path to those big goals. If there are gaps in that path, you won't get to what you ultimately want to achieve. That's a key piece to staying motivated for me." (If you're looking for more tips, here's how to set New Year's resolutions you'll actually keep.)

"I've learned so much along the way after running all these years. I feel like I'm finally at a point where I feel like I can use my experience and benefit from it," she says. "Some of the key things I'm hoping to do is training smarter. [During] my younger years, I thought the more work the better, the harder I worked the better-and now I definitely realize it's all about being smart and that recovery is so important. It's all about quality over quantity and that's something that has given me a prolonged career."

Meanwhile, she's working alongside runners with intellectual disabilities to prepare them for the upcoming Special Olympics as she gears up to begin training again soon. "The Special Olympics have really impacted my life and I knew they were something I wanted to get involved with during my year off," she says. "I lent myself to the cause hoping to help others, but I've definitely walked away from this experience feeling like I'm the one who changed." Mission accomplished.

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Comments (1)

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December 27, 2018
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