I came across information about a young man with Down’s Syndrome. I can learn a lot from this person. I hope you find it useful as well.
In brief, with family members’ help, he set out to run a marathon and finish within the maximum time allowed. He had a clear goal.
He practiced and trained almost every day and intended to get 1% better every day.
This is where I can get sidetracked. I go down the rabbit hole of detail. How would I calculate 1%? One percent of what? How objective could I be? Would I need to measure a bunch of training components 100 times? Whoa!
If I go down the hole, I’ll never see improvement towards achieving my goal. “Relax, this isn’t world peace.” I found that particular bumper sticker helpful to put my life in perspective.
The intent of calculating 1% is only a tool to remind me to get better every day. And, for this young man, it was about getting better at completing a marathon.
I can do this. In fact, I remember teaching myself to whistle when I was not yet seven years of age. I regularly had a long walk up the street to the main intersection. One house had a black metal pipe fence running around the perimeter of the front yard. City lots were larger than the present day, so they ran for quite a few metres beside the public sidewalk. Every day when I walked past this unique fencing, going in either direction, I would practice whistling.
I can’t recall for how long this carried on. I certainly didn’t track my progress in 1% increments. But, I did learn how to whistle.
Please give this a bit of a think. Just take a breath, hold it momentarily, release. Now think of something that you’d like to change in your pattern of thinking or behaviour. This becomes your goal. Think of a minimal change you could make towards it. It should be achievable and somewhat measurable. If you can say, “I did better today,” consider it measured. You don’t have to explain your progress to others.
Here are a few tips I found helpful. I forgive myself when I forget to make the minimal change. I don’t punish myself by doubling or tripling my efforts. I just recommit myself to making a minimal change at the next planned opportunity.
If you are finding the minimal change too much, too often, change your rules. Make the minimal smaller. It is all about regular progress and success.
Please comment about what you are trying to change. Let me know. I’m curious about your thoughts, and your personal journey.
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