It’s not too late to start over.
Here are a few ideas for starting smarter this time around:
1. Write out what you want to achieve.
You might be tempted to skip over this step, because, well, you already know what you want to achieve?
But writing it out (with a pen and paper, we’re going old school here, folks) is critical.
Don’t pop open a new Word file. Or text it to yourself. Or post it on Facebook.
Write out your goal on an actual piece of paper.
And the reasons why you want to achieve it.
Why is this so important?
Typing, whether on your phone or on a computer keyboard, has a way of separating ourselves from the content.
Research has shown that going old-school and physically writing out more fully engages and lights up our brain, making the connection deeper.
Having your goal and the reasons you want to achieve it on paper also makes it real, and pulls it out of the lofty ambitions that are continuously floating around the noodle between our ears.
When you can see your goal on paper, it pulls it out of the clouds and down into the here-and-now.
Take a couple moments and write out your goal and why it’s so important to you.
I’m not going anywhere…
2. Go as small as you need to in order to stay on track.
If you’re struggling to stay on track, start over and start smaller.
Start as small as you need to in order to make things stick.
Small steps might seem inconsequential…
But added up…
3. Get self-aware.
What does that have to do with my goals?
A lot, actually.
If you’ve found yourself in an endless loop of trying to make big changes in the pool, and continually stumbling and having to start over…
Or if you convince yourself that everything and everyone else is to blame for your struggles…
Or if you find that you are making the same mistakes over and over again…
Than your self-awareness needs some work.
The more you understand yourself, the more you understand the best way you perform, and the more you understand what works in your particular case the more likely you’ll finally be able to make those changes and improvements you so badly want.
While improving your self-awareness won’t solve everything, it’s a massive and absolutely essential first step.
So where to begin?
Tracking your performance in the pool, for starters.
Look at your training objectively. Breaking down the way you are swimming in practice (and the main things outside of the pool that influence your performance in the water—sleep, for instance) is step one. We suffer from a variety of biases that taint how we think we train. Having your training history written out, results included, gives you a measure of objectivity.
Review regularly. The most powerful way to break the chain of our bad habits is to become aware of them. Regular review and assessment will shine a light on the poor habits in and out of the pool that are causing you to have to start over and over (again).
Plan out how you want to train. All too often our results don’t line up with our expectations. Start setting yourself daily and weekly goals for yourself in the pool to close the gap between how you want to perform and you are actually performing. Doing so will help you create more realistic expectations that will keep you going long past the point where the all-or-nothing crowd falls off.
It’s not too late to get back on track.
That doesn’t mean you should wait for tomorrow, though.
And let tomorrow be day two!!!!
See you at the pool.