If you are reading this you might be thinking of the year ahead.
We all know the challenges that are outside of our control but there are many things that remain within our control.
Things that we can change.
Things we want to change.
Things we know it's time to change.
So for what it’s worth here are 5 simple tips from the folks who know what it is to constantly change, redefine, adapt, innovate, move forward and reach further.
1. STOP the sole focus on goals - START building systems that support your goals
Setting a goal but continuing to do the same thing will get you the same result. Motivation will carry you through the first few days but then what? You inevitably get tired and revert to what is familiar.
Set your goal because that establishes direction but then focus on building small daily habits or systems that consistently move you in the direction of your goal.
Example: if your goal is to lean down or get in shape that’s great but what are the small actions you need to put in place to incrementally move in the direction of your goal? And I want to encourage you to really think small. Visual cues of workout clothes laid out, running shoes by the door, oatmeal on the breakfast counter, these kinds of things are crucial building blocks of a system that supports and creates the change you want.
We employ sticky notes to remind us to pack new items in team kit. When it is repeated enough it just becomes part of the routine.
2. STOP big change mentality - START 1% improvement mentality
If you improve 1% every day in a chosen area of your life you will be astounded how much further you are in a years time. Small consistent actions accumulate. It’s a highly effective and achievable strategy for everyone.
Big goals can never be achieved without stringing humble 1% improvements together.
Have you got 1%...we think you have…
3. STOP trying to break a bad habit - START building the ones you want
Habits are repetitive actions that your brain wires together until they become automatic. Yes, your brain is smart - the more it automates the more it can deal with.
It’s like training on the same route or driving the same way to work, in time you don’t have to think about each turn you just make them.
In basic ways your life is an accumulation and reflection of your habits.
Start linking actions that build the habits you want. The more you consciously repeat, repeat, repeat, the stronger they become. When you build habits that counter old ones, you don’t have to waste energy trying to break them, they slowly fade away.
I’ve heard it said that breaking a longstanding habit is like uprooting a tree whereas starting a new habit is like planting a seed. Better to plant a seed and encourage what you want to grow. Remember the 1% improvement rule.
Be patient, accept a bit of boredom and keep repeating the habit you want.
4. STOP focusing on volume - START focusing on effectiveness
If you have a performance goal, in your personal, work or sporting life, you are better off applying effort strategically than just applying effort. We live in a culture of ‘more’, ‘higher’, ‘longer’, ‘harder’. Ask yourself are you getting better or are you simply more exhausted?
Quantity does not make up for a lack of quality.
Yes, this is from a team that values longer and reaching further. Our training and preparation is targeted and effective so that when we race we can actually reach further, we don't live there on a daily basis.
5. STOP rewarding only big successes - START celebrating small wins
Celebrate your daily wins or your 1% improvements, they add up weekly and monthly. When you celebrate them you put a note in your folder of self-esteem. Soon that folder will be bursting at the seams.
We take stock every night of the things that went well, ways we showed up and effort we applied. No matter how badly our day went there is always something positive to acknowledge.