‘We are what we repeatedly do’
Habit, like genius, is merely a matter of doggedness and deliberate practice. Which brings us to the second part of that Aristotle quote
‘Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit’
The new year is traditionally a time when we resolve to do better, do more, work harder, improve ourselves. But realistically unless there is a doggedness, a relentless approach too these resolutions they are destined for failure.
Highly successful people habitually perform behaviours that breed success, they have learnt to develop good habits, it takes discipline, courage and hard work on a daily basis to keep those habits in place. Everything from eating well to spending time completing tasks (training) requires habits that make these things are part of our lives.
As athletes at the start of your career it makes sense to adopt habits that facilitate success.
Take a leaf out of the books of some sports stars
Michael Jordan – spent his off season taking hundreds of jump shots a day
Roy Halladay (baseball) – does a 90 minute workout before team practice
Serena Williams – put in hours of extra training before school
Unfortunately there is no magic length of time to form a habit, but if you want 2017 to be a success you do need to start
Making the decision to set your sigets on a goal and press forwards towards its achievement is the start. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
There are 3 phases of successfully forming a habit
Phase 1: THE HONEYMOON
At the beginning when your motivation is fresh and your feeling inspired the feeling is that this is easy
Phase 2: THE TESTS
When inspiration fades and reality sets in and it feels easier to slip back into old routines the key to making it to phase three is to win these fight thru’s.
To win these internal arguments try this
RECOGNIZE: Recognition that your are being tested is vital to passing each test. When you face these tests, simply say to yourself, “this is a test, and I am going to pass it and move on” passing each test will make it easier to win the next. Conversely, when you choose to stay in bed, you make it easier to always choose to stay in bed
ASK 2 QUESTIONS:
“How will I feel if I do this
“How will I feel if I don’t do this?”
Bring EMOTION into the equation. Let yourself feel the positive in getting out of bed and going to the pool and the negative in rolling over for more sleep
LIFE PROJECTION: If the above 2 techniques haven’t moved you to get out of bed, then imagine in great detail how you are going to feel on race day if you don’t achieve your goals. Be totally honest with yourself, and allow yourself to feel how your are going to feel if you don’t make the effort to achieve YOUR goals
Phase 3: SECOND NATURE
Often described as being ‘in the groove’, there is still the danger of interruptions sending you back to testing times
THE DISCOURAGEMENT MONSTER: Results won’t always go your way, there are going to be poor races or disappointments the risk is that you allow these to discourage you and start thinking
DISRUPTIONS: A change to your daily pattern (e.g., vacations, holidays, illness, weekends) can cause a spiral into the easier ‘just start in bed today’ choices
SEDUCTION OF SUCCESS: The contrast of ‘1’ can also cause a disruption to the being ‘in the groove’, if you start to focus on positive results and begins to think,
These interruptions are a part of life, and when they come you need to be ready to pass a few more tests
What separates the successful from the less so is the ability to pass the tests with regularity and limit the interruptions as much as possible
I KNOW that you all want to achieve your goals I know you all want to swim fast. But let’s be serious here….BEING GREAT ISN’T EASY, it requires sacrifice. It requires doing things other can’t other won’t do
This sport requires consistent commitment – its relentless!
We all want the same thing, 2017 to be a great year for #teamlarne🏊 and all its members collectively and individually, so together, let’s make the new years resolution to train more, train harder, train smarter, to get past the tests when they come (no matter how many times we are tested) and reach those new levels of success in 2017