Gabby Douglas' secret to success may be attributed to a goal board made out of Post-it Notes

Gabby Douglas may be an Olympic gold medalist, but the 21-year-old renowned gymnast is just like us.

She, too, woke up early and went to school, balanced homework and friends, shared the same back-to-school jitters we each had as summer sadly came to a close. But how did a young kid from Newport News, Virginia, become the household name she is today?

Sure, it takes a boatload of talent and support to make it from London to Rio, but more than anything, it takes perseverance. And Gabby took her dreams and put them down in writing -- on Post-it Notes, to be exact.

When she was young, Gabby's mom encouraged her to write out her goals and stick them to a wall -- and thus, her goal board was created.

The goal board allowed Gabby, who was only 14 when she began training full time, to visualize what she wanted to accomplish in the world. Her board often featured long term goals, but was frequently filled with short term aspirations. After all, it was her board, and she could put whatever she liked on it.

It was the goal board that helped Gabby not only get to the Olympics, but become the person she is today. And in honor of the back-to-school season, she's sharing a few tips with us and the brilliant students from New York City's Publicolor-- and learn how we can make our own.

Star, Ok magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, Out - New York, NY - 7/25/17 -  Gabby Douglas and Post-it Brand talk to kids at Publicolor about how to Make it Stick during Back to School   -Pictured: Gabby Douglas with Publicolor kids -Photo by: Marion Curtis/StarPix -Location: Publicolor NYC
Star, Ok magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, Out - New York, NY - 7/25/17 - Gabby Douglas and Post-it Brand talk to kids at Publicolor about how to Make it Stick during Back to School -Pictured: Gabby Douglas with Publicolor kids -Photo by: Marion Curtis/StarPix -Location: Publicolor NYC

Can you tell me why you're excited to partner with Post-it Notes and how you became involved in the project?

I became involved in the project solely because it's all about making your goals stick, making your goals stick in your head -- and I'm here today with the brand, talking to these kids about different goals they can achieve. I invited them up to stick their goals on their board and just to get them started for the back-to-school season.

Especially in today's day and age, people are typing out their daily goals and lists on their phones, but you've made it a point to visualize your goals in writing. Why is that?

That is a very good question. I think it's so important for you to write it out on your own, just because it's in your own handwriting -- and you just write it out and stick it on the board. And it just does something --you add your own flavor, you add your own style.

Trust me, I try to do it on my own computer, and I want to draw hearts and stars and put my own flavor into it. So I feel like it's so important, so key for you to do it on your own.

Star, Ok magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, Out - New York, NY - 7/25/17 -  Gabby Douglas and Post-it Brand talk to kids at Publicolor about how to Make it Stick during Back to School   -Pictured: Gabby Douglas -Photo by: Marion Curtis/StarPix -Location: Publicolor NYC
Star, Ok magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, Out - New York, NY - 7/25/17 - Gabby Douglas and Post-it Brand talk to kids at Publicolor about how to Make it Stick during Back to School -Pictured: Gabby Douglas -Photo by: Marion Curtis/StarPix -Location: Publicolor NYC

Can you tell me how you organize your goal board — how might it change day to day, year to year?

Depending on what I want to do and what I'm doing that year, or that week, I set daily goals. I set baby steps and then leading up to the big picture. I was telling the kids, you know, that it doesn't even have to be something big. You can just start with something small -- and then you gradually get to the bigger things. And for me, I set out daily, weekly and monthly goals depending on what I want to achieve.

It's totally changing [every day]. So even though you lost a passion, scratch it out and pursue something else. There's nothing wrong with that.

What is the number one piece of advice you have for students who are about to head back to school?

Don't bully, stay sweet -- and number one, have fun in the process of what you're doing. Enjoy the process and also trust the process.

What excites you about the new school year? How did you maintain that excitement throughout the year?

I feel like [you get excited] because you've been away from friends...and it's kind of like adrenaline, hanging with your friends, lunches...and then it kind of all goes away. I mean, that happened for me too, because I was so excited for gym. And then a week later I'm like, 'eh, I'm kind of over this.'

So you just have to stay in the tune. Stick with it. Literally.

Name 6 items that you always had in your back-to-school box.

I always had a pencil, of course, an eraser, lip gloss, mascara, candy and Post-it Notes.

Related: Gabby over the years