Sometimes, I look at my training logs to see what makes me stronger and faster. Other times, I just take a minute to sit and think about things that make me more creative or happier. Most times, I ignore all this because I’m an idiot. Here are a few revelations I’ve had in the last few years.
- Drinking water constantly throughout jiu-jitsu classes makes me more alert, more active, improves my energy levels and helps my recovery afterwards.
- The month when I did 100 press-ups a day saw me top out my highest bench press ever (110kg, which admittedly isn’t amazing).
- If I write a list of things to do on a post-it or my mobile phone’s notebook setting, I will get them done with minimal procrastination.
- If I buy a packet of Mr Kipling’s Cherry Bakewells, regardless of how much I promise myself that I’m going to share them with other people or throw half of them away, I will eat the whole fucking packet that day.
Guess what I did with all these nuggets of wisdom? Forgot to drink water, stopped doing press-ups, only used the post-its thing when work was getting genuinely insane, and ate a whole lot of Cherry Bakewells.
Until recently. Now I’m working on all of them. I’m a well-hydrated, monster-chested, list-checking beast. And I only walk down my supermarket’s cake aisle when I’m ready to make a commitment to eating six Cherry Bakewells. Spoilers: this still happens sometimes.
If you’ve spent any time on an area of self-improvement, here’s the secret to success: you already know the secret to success. You know what works when you do it. If you’re honest, you know what the pros do that you won’t. You know that 6am is the only time that you’ll ever get to write, that if you promise yourself you’ll do it after work you’ll always find an excuse. You know that cooking your own meals on Sunday is a better fat-loss tool than any amount of miracle supplements you can buy. You know that practice is how you get good at anything. All the other stuff is silly bullshit you use to distract yourself from doing what actually works: the hidden strategies, the overcomplicated eating plans, the incomprehensible Russian periodised training programmes, the new productivity app. It’s all just overcomplication, when you aren’t doing the simple things that will make the most difference. It’s just a distraction. You know what will work, but you just aren’t doing it.
Change that. Start doing it. And it will work.
HOMEWORK: Sit down for five minutes and think about what you aren’t doing right now that has worked for you whenever you try it. Do that this week.