February 18, 2019.
We’re already one-eighth through the year. Time flies! We’ll blink and be at the quarter, then halfway, then…
If you had to grade your year thus far, what would it be? And if things continued as they are, would you be satisfied at the end of 2019?
Yes, these are deep questions starting out but it’s so easy to have good intentions at the beginning of the year, then…
…We get caught up in the busyness and never reflect on whether we’re on pace for what we said we wanted.
I approach business like running a race. Anytime I’m competing, whether it’s a marathon or 5k, I will usually have a goal pace in mind. Then, for the each mile I’m “lapping” my watch to assess whether I’m ahead, on pace or behind where I want to be.
I’ve been giving a popular speech called “Daily Execution for Extraordinary Results” a lot in 2019. It’s about the science of goal setting, motivation and habit formation. Basically, taking goals (big or small), breaking them down into manageable chunks and identifying the activities that will make it happen (what I call, the “Process”).
Sometimes when I get to this last part of identifying the activities, people get confused and aren’t sure exactly what I mean. I will usually respond with something like the following:
“You identified that you want XYZ outcome. So, tomorrow morning at 6am I’m going to show up at your house and follow you around for the entire day. What activities are you going to do that will show that you’re committed to achieving this outcome?”
At this point, people either get it or run away scared 🙂
I’ll give you an example from my own life right now…
I’ve got a bad back and it has been bothering me for a while. Too much running, lifting, sitting, and not enough stretching. I’ve decided that I’m done waking up in pain in 2019 and I’m going to lick this thing.
My outcome = better, pain-free back.
And when you show up at my house at 6am to follow me around for the day, one activity you will see me do is 10-minutes of stretching and soft tissue release.
That’s the minimum. Some days I may do more, but 10-minutes is the standard. The requirement.
Keep in mind, I hate stretching. I’d MUCH rather lift, run, bike, etc. It’s one of those tasks things that you know you should do, but you don’t necessarily want to do it.
You’re probably also thinking that 10 minutes doesn’t sound like much at all. Such a minimal activity can’t possibly translate to the outcome I want, right???
But I do it every day. I am committed to Not. Missing. One. Day. EVER. Or at least, not until I’m at my outcome of pain free. It’s a “slight edge” principle. When you stack up seven 10-minute segments in a week, that’s over one hour of highly productive activity to help my back.
AND, because what we do every day is more important than what we do every once in a while, this is much more beneficial than me saying I’ll do a 1-hour yoga class once a week.
Wherever you’re at in 2019, personally and professionally, I’d encourage you to approach it the same way. We get seduced by sayings like, “Massive action solves all problems!” and 18-hour workdays are the only way to Outperform. It’s not the truth.
The small, seemingly insignificant things done repeatedly is the boring part of excellence that no one talks about.
Which of these activities, when stacked up over time, will lead to your substantial outcomes in 2019?