Reach Goals Faster & With More Ease With This One Simple Practice

Josh Waitzkin tells a story about Billy Kidd, an olympic skier in the 80s, during an interview for Tim Ferriss’ podcast.

“What do you think are the three most important turns of the ski run?” Billy asks. 

And most people say the middle because it’s the hardest, the beginning to gain momentum. Billy describes the three most important turns of the ski run are the last ones before you get on the lift. 

It’s a very subtle point. That’s when the slope is leveled off, there’s less challenge. Most people are very sloppy then. They’re taking the weight off of the muscles they’ve been using and bad form.

The problem is on the lift ride up, you’re internalizing bad body mechanics. As Billy points out, if your last three turns are precise, what you’re internalizing is precision.

 

When everyone else loosens up, olympic skiers hone their focus. This is the difference between those who reach their goals and everyone else. Top performers understand that “how we do one thing is how we do everything.” Practice isn’t just practice, man (props to you if you got the reference).

 

I believe we fail most often due to errors of structure, not a lack of motivation or the ability to follow-through. Today we’ll delve deeply into the practice of Setting Yourself Up For Success to teach you how to identify and address errors of structure in your life. I’m also CHALLENGING you to do one simple thing for the next 7 days and report on your results.

 

Errors of structure are those unproductive habits in our lives that waste time and use resources, leaving little time or willpower to focus on the things we really want. Things like:

  • hitting the ‘snooze’ button 7 times before dragging yourself out of bed and rushing to work frazzled
  • sleeping too little, feeling fatigued all day, and wondering why you can’t get everything done
  • making every appointment chaos because you’re running late
  • skipping half of your workout and wondering why you can’t make progress
  • paying your bills by hand every month
  • going through all of the mail every day

 

Participating in these habits devours our resources and sets us up for chaos. Pulling order out of chaos on a daily basis is next to impossible, so it’s NO WONDER why your body isn’t transforming. Add the stress load of too little sleep and too much cortisol and your excess weight is a big fire alarm from your body trying to tell you something is up! Adding a restrictive diet or intense exercise routine in an effort to work it off will produce the opposite effect because it increases the overall stress load.

 

Have you ever heard the saying, “The right things in the wrong order are still the wrong things?” or “The right things at the wrong time are still the wrong things?” Sequencing matters.

 

So before you start trying to diet and exercise again, let’s look at your other habits first. Behavior change research has proven time and time again that changing our environment is the quickest way to create and sustain a desired behavior change. And you’ve got to do things differently if you want different results.

 

But Gerilyn, none of this has anything to do with my body?! I’ve been doing this for 20 years! Yep. And your body is so resilient it’s taken this long for your chronic stress to catch up to you. But are you weight loss resistant? Does nothing you try work? Tired often? Do you have issues following through? Then it isn’t the program. It isn’t your motivation. It’s positioning yourself for success by looking at other areas that may be contributing to your lack of progress besides diet and exercise.

 

Positioning is everything in life. It’s the difference between forced progress vs a natural flow. Start how you want to finish. But also finish how you want to start.

 

Like Josh’s story relays, finishing strong doesn’t happen by chance. It’s trained. And you can learn it too. Learning the practice of the daily strong finish automatically improves your life in myriad ways. It

  • reduces stress and prepares you for restful sleep
  • triggers creativity, awareness, and insight
  • automatically sets you up for a strong start
  • boosts energy and confidence
  • transforms good intentions into healthy habits that last

 

So before we even talk about what transformations you really want for 2015, let’s build a solid foundation by training your daily strong finish today. It’s easy.

 

Your 7 Day Challenge (10 minutes):

  1. Answer these questions each evening before bed: What went well today? What didn’t? What did I learn? What are my upcoming challenges tomorrow/this week and one thing I can take action on to rock the outcome?
  2. Read, write, or draw for the remaining time.
  3. Go to bed, completely releasing your mind from work or your to-do list.

 

BOOST your daily strong finish with these practices:

  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night
  • Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed (or at least install f.lux to remove blue light from your computer)
  • NO PHONES in bed. Airplane mode only!
  • Practice mindfulness meditation in bed.

 

Everyone talks about starting your day right, but few dig deeper into the psychology of lasting success. That’s what makes this daily strong finish so amazing. It primes you for future success. And it’s practices like these that make olympic skiers look so effortless. These practices are in their blood. They’re automatic. They’re just what they do. They don’t even have to think about them.

 

Not practicing my daily strong finish contributed to the Worthy Burger episode I mentioned yesterday. Instead of my normal 8-9 hours of sleep, I stayed up until past midnight two nights in a row listening to a podcast. Waking cranky and outside of my normal nourishing routine set me up for a domino of a day. Poor husband. Am I deflecting responsibility? NO. I’m saying that I can prevent most irritation, anxiety, and chaos by reducing errors of structure, thus setting up my environment and day for success.

 

Now, schedule a reminder in your calendar to begin your daily strong finish challenge AND remember to report on your results in the comments below. 

 

 

Life tastes better with butter,

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P.S. It’s pretty easy to start well, especially at the first of the year, but sticking with it is a different story. How will practicing a daily strong finish change that for you? Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts.

5 Comments

  • Lori

    Reply Reply December 18, 2014

    Love this! My strong finish will mean sticking to my bedtime and not getting sucked into the late night TV watching vortex. It’s the Christmas specials that are enticing me. However because I really want to start my day strong (getting up well rested and early enough to do my morning routine) I must get to bed at a decent hour. I’ll tape the Christmas specials and watch them earlier and on another day!!! Problem solved!!!

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply December 22, 2014

      Love your plan Lori! And I know for you that even considering this plan is huge progress (since I know how much you LOVE your evening TV with family!).

      Keep me posted. 🙂

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