Have you ever heard anyone say that they want to DECREASE their performance?
I doubt it!
I would suggest there is some area, or areas, in our lives that we would like to increase performance. If not, you’re amazing and I want to meet you!
First, let us get one thing clear: our lives are pretty busy, frantic, fast paced and no one seems to have time for anything so I’m not going to add a bunch of ‘shoulds’ into your life.
Don’t you hate that?
How often do you hear: ’Oh, I should be doing this, I should be doing that?’
My philosophy on life that its here to be lived, not filled up with a bunch of ‘should’s’.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some things we feel as though we ‘should’ be doing, especially when it come to our careers, families, relationships and other parts of our lives BUT those should’s support something that is important to you, they are usually linked to something/someone you value highly enough, your values. So, with that being said I will offer some advice in this article but use the advice as a recipe to apply to your own circumstances.
Read on for the key five ingredients to improve performance in ANY area of our lives!
‘Given a big enough WHY, people can bear almost any how.’
– Friedrich Nietzsche
So, WHY do you want to increase your performance. Seriously, WHY?
Don’t just sit there passively reading this article.
WHY do you want to improve YOUR performance.
Have you stopped and thought about WHY you want to improve something in your life?
Now, lets get EXCITED by your WHY.
’Oh, I just want to lose a couple of kilos.’ Is that going to get you out of bed at 5am full of energy, pep, feeling invigorated and going to the gym, for a run, or a walk?
Hmmm, I doubt it!
Tip: Make your WHY so big and purposeful that you can literally feel IT! Think of Rocky standing at the top of the steps after his run, visualising himself as the champion!
This can take a bit of time! But the clearer and more excited you are about why YOU want to improve your life the better the results!
You’ve nailed this when you’re so excited by it that you want to literally get up from reading this and take action!
Ask yourself the question: What do I need to do to improve my performance?
This is the list making section of the article, or if you prefer brainstorming, go for it! Write down all the things you can think of to improve your performance.
This might include getting in touch with someone who has already achieved what you are looking for, searching the internet, making a phone call, buying a new set of shoes, saying ‘no’ to a social engagement, booking out time for yourself (and sticking to it).
How did you go?
Take a look at your magical road map that you have created. Now on this road map to success there will be one simple action step that you can take right now….
Never leave the site of a goal without first taking some form of positive action towards its attainment. Right now, take a moment to define the first steps you must take to achieve some goal. What can you do today to move forward?’
Get on your phone, make that call, find that person, read that article.
Next, on this roadmap to increased performance will be one goal, one thing that by doing IT will take care of all the other things on your list, your one thing that creates a domino effect where everything else falls into place.
Identify that one thing.
Gary Keller wrote a best selling book based on this simple question:
‘What’s THE ONE THING I can do such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary’
– Gary Keller
This is the part of the article where I share a personal story to connect with you the reader, so here goes!
Most of my life I have been heavily involved with organised, team based sports. For me this involved things like: moving states and going to boarding school to chase my sporting dream; delaying tertiary education to live and play sport in another country, on the other side of the world. I was driven, almost everything I did was to improve my performance in that sport.
Upon graduating from uni (finally!) we moved to the beautiful Sunny Coast and for some reason ‘retired’ from the sport that had been such a big part of my life.
All of a sudden, I felt as if I needed to exercise!
This was such a strange concept for me!
Previously, every time I did something it was to improve my performance for cricket. That’s WHY I went for a run, did a work out, didn’t drink alcohol before a game and trained at least two nights a week! All of these things were part of my goal to improve my performance for cricket- my BIG WHY!
So now, I felt I SHOULD be exercising. I lost my WHY.
With advice and tips from Dr. Jake Currie (former Chiro at CCK, now at Posture HQ) I got stuck into barefoot running. I really enjoyed it, it was fun.
So, I gave this running thing a bit of a go. I did weekly fun runs, a 12km fun run and a half marathon.
My goal was to run a marathon.
I’m not really sure WHY, but that seemed like a challenging yet achievable goal.
The only problem was it wouldn’t get me out of bed at 5am. The alarm would go off and inevitably I’d switch it off and go back to sleep for another hour or so. Going for a bodysurf and a coffee was a far more attractive offering.
This went on for a while.
Eventually, I got to a point where enough was enough! I realised I didn’t really want to the work to achieve the ultimate goal of completing a marathon, it didn’t INSPIRE me.
All I did know was that I wanted to improve my fitness.
I asked myself a simple question: ‘why do I want to improve my fitness?’
Boom! I got my trusty visual art diary out and brainstormed all of the things that improving my fitness would give me. I found a bigger reason to exercise, I found a bigger WHY.
But, WHAT did I want to do to improve my fitness?
Jake was ALWAYS going on about CrossFit. Yeah I know I’m going to talk about Crossfit (insert rolling eyes emoji- especially you, Caroline de Groot). Don’t worry I couldn’t believe I was going to do that!
And, you know what happens when you venture outside your comfort zone…..it feels like a big step, a big change. Self doubt encircles your thinking. I’m sure you know about that little voice in your head that can keep you from unleashing your inner superstar, well that little voice went into overdrive.
Eventually, I decided: All I have to do is dip my toe in the water, why not give it a go? What have I got to lose?
Looking back, the biggest step was the first step. Which in this case, was texting the Crossfit guys for my first session, this took two weeks, TWO WEEKS, of procrastination until I booked my first session! Seriously, sending a text message was the hardest part! Crazy right?
You know what happened next? Yep, now all I do is talk about Crossfit (apparently-ask Caroline)!
Why do I do Crossfit?
Well, for me its about having the energy and invigoration to live life at a high level. Who wants to come in and see a low energy, slow, lethargic chiropractor or speaker?
I’m not worried about how much I lift.
I like not having to do the same thing over and over again. Its different everyday.
Also, there’s a lot of movements associated with Crossfit which are challenging and take time to master, the same with any worthy pursuit- a metaphor I use in my own life.
And, I get to hang out with an awesome and inspiring bunch of people every morning who are at ‘the box’ to improve themselves in one way or another.
What did I learn from this experience? Here comes the five ingredients to improve performance in any area of your life! Quick, read on!
The action steps:
- WHY. Have a big, kinaesthetic (feel it) reason for WHY you want to improve something. The bigger the better!
- WHAT. Identify the steps to achieve your goal, take one step now and pick the main goal that will create the domino effect you are after to achieve your goal the easiest way possible
- HOW. Increase your comfort zone! dip your toe in the water, take one small step for man….for yourself, outside your comfort zone
- WIN. Set yourself up to win, you don’t have to be awesome straight away, if you’re at 4/10 why not work on getting to 4.1/10. Going from a 4/10 to a 10/10 can be overwhelming! Why not take a step in the general direction of your chosen improvement. Be kind to yourself, any worthy pursuit takes time, just chip away, one small step at a time.
- HAVE FUN! I am definitely NOT saying you all have to go out and do Crossfit. What I am saying is: do something that you enjoy, do something where you have fun!
The world is waiting for you to Unleash Your Inner Superstar!