by Coach Amy

At the beginning of each new year we are all conditioned to make resolutions because the start of a new year brings the exciting feeling of a new beginning.  Each January we feel compelled to come up with attractive sounding goals; however according to a news show I just watched on tv…only 8% of us actually are successful.  92% of us fail?  Why is that?

There are lots of reasons, and lots of articles about this.  Here’s one I particularly like.  Like Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada, I believe it comes down to not being ready to commit to the goal.  If we make goals or changes just because it is a new year, then we have no authentic motivation to do the work necessary to achieve them. A change, especially a large or difficult one, must be ignited from within – not by a calendar.  If you are not ready to change, then it will not happen.

So this year, if you are feeling excited and energized to make a resolution, go for it and be part of the 8%!  However, if you are not ready to make a significant change in your life don’t feel pressured to do so right now.  Don’t set a goal you’re not committed to, and then feel badly when you inevitably fail.  Wait until you are ready.  Until then, I offer you this perspective…

What if every day you tried to be just 1% better?  That’s manageable, right?

That’s exactly how Dave Brailsford turned around Great Britain’s professional cycling team.  Brailsford set out to improve everything the team did by just 1%, believing that small changes would eventually make a big difference.  He proved this to be true.  By making small adjustments to the team’s nutrition, training, tires, and even pillows…Brailsford lead the team to a Tour de France victory in 3 years, and then won it again the year after that, and have won 4 of the last 5.

The changes were not noticed immediately, or in the day to day; however, over time the small changes, now habits, made a greater and greater impact on performance.

This concept really resonates with me.  I can try 1% harder in all areas of my life without experiencing much, or any, discomfort.

What would happen if I consistently…worked 1% harder in boxing class?  Hit the bag 1% harder or faster than I usually do?  Drank 1% more water?  Ate 1% more vegetables? Slept 1% more?  Was 1% kinder?  Read 1% more?  Meditated 1% more? The list could go on and on.  I can pick something specific to focus on, or keep 1% always in my mind and apply it everywhere.  It’s up to me.

Of course, I always try to measure everything and it is hard to measure many things by 1%, right?  That’s actually part of the beauty of this.  It’s like a mental trick.  There’s not a lot of pressure, and I’ll probably end up giving more than 1%, especially to the areas that need it most.  The 1% is about training my mind to constantly look for ways to improve, meanwhile creating healthier habits which will multiply in benefits as each year passes.

Think about it.  Will you join me in the 1% challenge?  I’ll be asking you for 1% more in class.  🙂

Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2018.

See you in the gym!

– Coach Amy

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