Every time I speak to an audience or a client, I encourage them to adopt a ‘Half Marathon Mindset’ to whatever big goal they have. Why? Because there’s rarely a quick and easy way to accomplish something big and substantive.
The only way any of us is going to get there is to take the many small steps and do them consistently. From 20 years of coaching many hundreds of people, inconsistency and not staying in the race are the biggest reasons people fail.
The vast, vast majority of people I’ve coached over the years had the ability, the intelligence, competence, and the people skills to achieve certainly very good outcomes, but most did not stay in the race long enough and even fewer were consistent.
Just yesterday I heard an interview with a star player from the Las Vegas Raiders. He came from a Division 2 college, was not a high draft pick, and he was asked how he had done so well and continued to get better. His response: “Mindset and consistency.”
You might be a little disappointed to read such a non-sensational revelation. Even I wish I could tell you that after my obsession with reading ‘success’ literature for over 30 years, I had found something sexy to share.
Think about it: have you ever heard an Olympic athlete or your favorite sports star say: “What I love most about my sport isn’t the thrill of the big game, the millions of dollars I make, the fame, the attention, and the lucrative advertising deals; what I love most is how exciting my practice drills are – how every day as a (fill in the blank sport/position), I get to practice exactly the same (fill in the blank sport/position) day-in, day-out, from dawn to dusk just as I have ever since I started playing when I was 5!”
What we all have to come to terms with is the routine (i.e., often dull) nature of our powerful, productive habits.
We have to go to the gym forever.
We also need to do our best to focus mentally on the outstanding outcomes we get from doing the right thing day in and day out whether we feel like it or not.
The mindset that helps you do this is the Half Marathon Mindset because for most of us running 13.1 miles would take a lot of small, consistent actions done repeatedly over a long period of time before we’d be able to accomplish this.
(BTW: If you’re the rare bird who can run this handily, call it something else, such as the Champion Chef Mindset or the Guitar Great Mindset – something that would require a lot of effort for you to achieve)
The moral of the story is: if you want to hit your breakthrough goal this year, you must have a mindset that reminds you to stay in the race and to be consistent!
From a practical standpoint:
a) Keep ‘Half Marathon Mindset’ in writing and highly visible. I have it printed at the top of my daily Habit Tracker.
b) Write in reminders for future months to check in with yourself and ask:
Am I still in the race on this January goal?
How consistent am I being with the actions I need to take?
It’s easy to be nonchalant about this in mid-January but in mid-March? August? Early November? No offense, it must be human nature, but this is where most of us struggle and fail. I don’t want this to happen to you this year. Reading this article and ‘knowing’ this is not enough. Your brain needs frequent reminders: “this action may not be exciting, but it will get me some exciting results once it becomes a habit and I do it long enough.”
To do what you need to do whether you feel like it or not!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121