Raise your hand if you saw the 1500 Meter men’s race last month. Matt Centrowitz was the first U.S. athlete to win the gold since 1908. I’m not sure who was more excited by the result – Matt or his family in the stands. When he was interviewed after the race, he talked about how important the last lap was to his success. One sports writer described it as “tearing up the last lap.” Now, there’s an image.
I mentioned the 1500 meter race to a client last week who was candid about his summer swoon, and how he needed to refresh and refocus if he was going to meet his targets by the end of the year. We agreed that September is an important milestone, and how many of us mark time. Not only is it a new academic year, but it is the equivalent of the last lap on the track. There’s still enough time to make your move, and win big, but you have to start now. My client made some good decisions in our session. I share them with you in case you are also needing to snap yourself back into focus.
1. Re-write your top three goals from way back in January. Make sure they are still worthy of your time and attention.
2. Re-think the morning routine. If you’re like my client (and me), you tend to get to your desk and open up email. Eighteen hours later you’re still reading and replying – a victim of the steady drip that never leaves you feeling hydrated. What can you do to adjust your morning routine so that you make tangible progress toward one of your revised, refreshed and revitalizing fall goals?
3. Reflect on what happens to you mentally and physically at 3:00 in the afternoon. The answer might vary depending on whether you’re an early bird or a night owl. Either way, I’ll wager a guess that your productivity tends to dip. And, if you skipped lunch, you might even be “hangry.” My client has decided to go for a 5-minute walk instead of reaching for the last doughnut in the staff kitchen. Energy and productivity go hand-in-hand.
4. Revise or refresh how you track your progress. I know, another thing to do. I’m with you. For example, if I hear Tony Horton say one more time “write it down!”, I’m gonna throw something at the screen. But, he’s onto something. Tracking progress is a momentum builder. And keeping it all in your head is insufficient. How can you enhance your tracking process? And finally,
5. Read Grit, by Angela Duckworth. It’s fantastic. She walks us through the key ingredients of perseverance toward achieving a goal. In a nutshell, it’s “deliberate practice” that sets the Olympian apart from couch potato. What’s your deliberate practice? What did you do daily/weekly/monthly back in the first quarter of 2016 that you have let slide over the past couple of months?
Let me know if you tear up the final lap of 2016.