If you want to be more consistent, raise the stakes.
Take for instance, working out. If you set a goal to start working out in the mornings before work, you’re going to be challenged with that sweet-sounding snooze button. You’re excited when you go to bed thinking “I’m working out tomorrow!” And then morning comes, and the idea of hitting snooze so you can sleep longer has a strong pull to it. You justify it to yourself, maybe even arguing that you’ll workout after work (which you don’t).
No one knows if you miss your goal this morning to workout. It’s “not a big deal.”
Until your one missed day turns into two… into five…into a month. That’s a bigger deal.
But what if we changed one thing about that morning workout goal and added the fact that you were going to meet a friend at the gym.
When that alarm goes off, you might consider hitting it but will remember that you have a friend who was willing to get out of bed before the sun came up to workout with you. You turn off the alarm, get out of bed, get ready and head to the gym to meet your friend.
The alarm sounded the same. The excuses your mind made were the same. The only difference between morning A and morning B was the fact that someone you like was counting on you to be there. You made your goal because you didn’t want to let that person down.
It’s easier to have consistency when there are immediate stakes to your decision.
That is the power of accountability.
You can even take this example to a new level by offering to pay your friend $100 every time you miss an agreed-upon morning workout. You most likely won’t miss more than one. Why?
Because you don’t want to pay your friend $100 that you’d rather spend on something else.
Stakes increased. Likelihood of showing up to workout increased.
Too many of us are trying to reach our goals or build new habits all by ourselves. In reality, we need someone(s) there to help us – an accountability partner. This person can be a mentor, a friend willing to meet us at the gym, or even a hired coach who checks in on our progress every week. We all need someone to essentially hold our feet to the fire in order to meet our agreed upon standard – and we all need consequences when we fail to live up to that standard.
If you want to be more consistent in your morning workouts, meet someone at the gym at 6am.
If you want to be more consistent reading books, have a small book club with 2-3 friends.
If you want to be more consistent building your career skills, have a mentor or friend who will practice sales pitches or presentations with you.
Consistency requires accountability. The more we have of it in the form of a relationship or consequences (like paying a “fine”), the more likely we are to build our consistency.
The better your accountability, the better your consistency.
Watch others – but don’t desire to be them.
One of the challenges I had with social media is the balance between learning from those who have succeeded in specific areas while trying not to envy them.
Social media is an incredible tool to use for learning. You can study how someone posts, how they use it to communicate about their business or build their brand. Clues are everywhere online.
Social media is also great for consuming great content, be it educational or entertainment. With the click of a follow/unfollow button, you can intentionally curate your feed to be things that interest you or people you want to learn from.
But there’s also a downside to using social media mindlessly.
The killer of joy, comparison, runs rampant on social media.
Everywhere you scroll is the perfect picture of someone doing something great. It’s not like anyone is posting big losses. We even intellectually know that social media isn’t the entire story, but it doesn’t make it easier to see certain “wins” such as likes, comments, or followers on a profile and not compare it to your own work.
You can clean out your “Following” list on Twitter or Instagram, go back and add only accounts that you want to learn from….and still struggle mentally seeing certain successes that you haven’t reached yet.
It feels like being on social media to learn only ends up creating more mental anxiety than mental growth in many of us.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The subtle shift starts with how we talk to ourselves and how we view our social media feed.
A leader’s goal with social media should be to use it to connect with like-minded people, engage those following you, and learn from those ahead of you who share how to get better. Here are the four steps I started taking to improve my relationship with social media & maintain better focus on my own race instead of comparing it to someone else’s version.
1. Control WHAT you consume.
I review my following list roughly once every other month.
On Instagram, I take two steps:
- 1. I review my feed to see if the content appearing is the kind I want to be consuming & taking note of how certain posts make me respond mentally, being sure to unfollow anything that causes an unhealthy response.
- 2. I review accounts I enjoy for who they follow and browse to see who I might want to add into my feed.
This keeps my feed fresh as well as my mind in a healthy space with the content.
On Twitter, I decided to:
- Clean out a majority of my “following” list. This became pretty easy during election season.
- Create private lists for accounts based on topic (Mental Performance, Leadership, Sales, My Teams, Friends, etc.. are just a few). This allows me to not be controlled by my feed but jump right into a topic.
This has changed my endlessly scrolling on Twitter to now using the platform for intentionally hopping on to learn/converse and then logging off.
You can’t consume crap & play at your best physically, so why would you mentally?
You don’t have to follow every account. Find the ones that add value to your mindset, relationships, & life, and unfollow the rest. It’s your feed, make sure you’re intentional with how you use it.
2. Control HOW long you consume.
It’s easy to get caught into the trap of scrolling for hours. If we’re going to start using social media to learn, we need to set boundaries for how long we’re using it. Classes have a bell to signal that it’s time to move on, use the same thing with your phone alarm.
I will try to post multiple times a day, but I try to limit getting into my feed (and scrolling) to two specific periods:
- To comment & engage users. I try to make at least 15 comments per day from the @CompeteEveryDay account to followers or users of a specific hashtag
- Scroll to see what specific people I follow have produced & shared that I can like or comment on to support.
In both instances, I’ve started setting a short alarm so that when it rings, I log off. We always work better under a deadline, so why not set one so we are more intentional with the feed versus what can become a negative habit of continually scrolling for fresh content.
3. Control WHY you consume.
A key to improving your relationship with social media and transforming it from a consumption-only feed toward a learning experience is understanding why you get online. It doesn’t matter to me why you want to consume certain content, but it should matter to you.
- Is it to learn how to improve your daily mindset?
- Do you scroll to learn how to build your business?
- Or are you using it to “keep up with the Joneses?”
Getting a better handle on why you spend time online will you help each time you log-on and how you interact with it. Knowing that you get online to connect with other people will push your focus toward commenting & engaging with new accounts instead of scrolling your own feed for hours. Understanding that you’re online to learn will help you set a boundary that you log-on, read something you can add commentary to or learn from, and then log-off.
Understand why you’re using the platform to improve how you’re using it.
4. Create FOR someone else to consume.
By now, we’ve controlled who’s content we consume, how long we’re online, and why we’re there. Now it’s our turn to create something valuable for someone else.
- Don’t worry about your likes
- Don’t worry if “no one sees it”
- Only focus on how your next post can encourage, entertain, or support someone else.
We want to be leaders who add positive value to the mass content that is social media – not someone adding to the crap that’s already on there. Find something you learned from someone else, share it in your own words or with added commentary (link back if you quote them direct) and keep paying the value forward.
It’s hard to be worried about how you compare to this person or that person when you’re locked into how you can help someone who already follows you.
As a growing leader, social media can provide an incredible opportunity to learn and develop your skills. There are amazing accounts to follow that consistently provide strong value. Remember that the platforms are meant for connection, not comparison.
Get on. Learn something. Share something. Then get offline and go make moves.
Why would anyone ever smile after doing burpees?
That’s the question I asked myself as I walked to my car after finishing a 500-burpee workout. Woof.
It was rough. I was soaked in sweat and my arms were still trembling thirty minutes later from the work.
But I was all smiles as I walked out of the gym Saturday morning because I was proud of myself for doing that awful work – especially when going into it, I was questioning whether I could.(more…)
Hope isn’t a winning strategy when it comes to making this year better than last. You need to take action, with a big picture plan – and a daily process to get there.
Here’s a formula I use to get crucial WINS each year and if applied, can make 2019 your best year yet.
How do you set a big goal and just smash the shit out of it?
You’ve got to have accountability. Every big dream, every big goal that you set requires accountability in order to reach it.
So, let’s break this down.
A big goal you may have for this year is that you want to get a ton stronger. That’s not really specific. Maybe you want to get a little stronger. Maybe a ton stronger. What’s the difference in those two? If you don’t set a specific goal, you cannot have anything to aim at. (more…)
Why do so many of us fall into the lie of waiting for a “perfect” time?
It’s as if we’re waiting to believe we suddenly receive inspiration, like an epiphany that comes to us. In all reality, we find inspiration by taking action and moving forward. Just like a snowball slowly rolls until it builds into an avalanche, so must we start out by moving forward.
This week’s message shares that even if it’s not perfect, starting with something always beats waiting on perfection.
Are you going to let one door being slammed in your face stop you from reaching your goals?
How about 50 doors?
In this week’s Monday Motivation episode, Jake shares how you should follow the lead of Hollywood’s best and keep banging on the door until someone answers.
Who writes your permission slip?
I remember when I was in school the permission slip was the key to getting out of class (and occasionally escaping boredom!). Sometimes you got a doctor’s note, sometimes the counselor would help you sneak out of class, and a few times the principal would give you the pass. You needed that slip to do anything outside of sit in class and learn. Your parents, teachers, & administration “controlled” the slip, and therefore controlled a part of you.
For some reason, as we grew older, we continued to act like someone has a pen and holds our permission slip. As if we can’t do anything without obtaining their permission first. We sit in neutral, choosing not to chase a dream because we don’t know if we have the permission to. We stay in a job we hate and in an environment that stifles growth because we don’t feel like we have the permission and right to make a change. It’s as if we are unable to give ourselves permission to make a change.
Chris Brogan is a big proponent of giving yourself permission. He writes,
“Permission is about claiming your crown. You can choose what you want to do next. You can choose how you respond. You can decide that now is a great time to get strong.” (Seeking Permission).
In other words, why do we wait for someone else to give us permission to do something that only we can do?
- Who are we waiting to approve our choice to pursue a goal?
- Who signs off the paperwork to make a life change?
- And who have we given power to do decide how we can and cannot live?
Chris once asked me – who gave me permission to start Compete? The answer was simple – me. I made the choice. I acted. I gave myself permission to succeed or fail in the pursuit of this goal. If I waited on someone else to give that permission, I would have never started. I would have constantly sought approval from others who don’t have the power to give me what I needed.
I’ll ask again, who writes your permission slip? If the answer isn’t you, you’ve given the pen to the wrong person.
I challenge you today to take it back. To claim your crown. And for you – and only you – to decide what to do next. It’s your life, Compete for it.
There is a funny quote on Instagram that goes through every CrossFitter’s head during the course of a 20-minute, “as-many-reps-as-possible” workout. It goes:
- 0:25 – 1st round under 30 seconds, I’m going to kill this workout
- 1:15 – started too fast, can’t breathe
- 5:00 – where is the chalk bucket?
- 10:00 – half way? Screw my life..
- 15:00 – that damn clock is broken..
- 18:00 – coach is watching, keep moving, don’t die.
- 20:00 – oh thank goodness
- 25:00 (5 minutes post-workout): that wasn’t too bad, I could’ve gotten another round
Every person I’ve showed that to who has experienced a 20-minute workout like this immediately laughs. They know the feeling. They remember wanting to absolutely die during the workout. They remember staring in disbelief that it’s only been 10-minutes of the 20 minute workout. And they all remember the thoughts in their head of quitting.
The thoughts that at minute 16:00 say, “you can stop now, just slow down.” Or perhaps the ones at minute 18:00 encouraging you to pack it in early. Seriously, you just poured yourself out for 18 minutes and you’d honestly consider quitting with 120 seconds left?
That’s like picking up the football at your own 1-yard-line, juking the entire defense twice, and then laying down at the opponents two-yard-line, just short of a touchdown because you got “tired.” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You’d dive into the endzone having received your goal.
Same applies to life. (more…)