Resolutions: Setting the wheels in motion

British cycling has grown to become renowned as one of the most successful sports in British history. Their success can be attributed to Sir Dave Brailsford’s simple, yet genius philosophy… marginal gains.

Focus on small incremental improvements in different aspects of your goal and the combined effect is powerful.

You may not be a cyclist, or in fact a sportsperson, but this philosophy can be applied personally, and/or professionally and transform your goals, mindset, and maybe even your life.

Strip back your goal into all of its component aspects. Now, if you marginally improved each of these aspects, even by 1%, the accumulative improvement would be significant.

It is important that you differentiate between your goal and your targets that help you reach that goal. Don’t look at the top of the mountain you’re climbing, this is far too overwhelming. Look at the next 100m and try to make each aspect of this next 100m just slightly better than the last.

How would you feel? Empowered? Energised? Motivated? Positive?

Most importantly, you’ll feel satisfied you’ve made progress, and this is addictive.

When your goal is split down in this way and your focus is retrained on your targets it seems much more manageable. You can identify tangible improvements that you can implement to help you reach your goal.

Whilst improving by just 1% may not seem significant enough to make the progress you’re striving for; it is about staying consistent and realistic. Small changes and habits may not have noticeable effects in the short term but don’t be disheartened. Accumulatively, these changes are significantly more meaningful and sustainable in the long run.

Do not underestimate the impact of these small changes. Value and celebrate these. Creating a mindset of continuous improvement, however small, whether that’s personally, or within your organisation’s culture, is electric. Energise and empower yourself and/or your team to take ownership and pride in these marginal gains. You may find the result increases commitment, productivity, and satisfaction. This motivation drives consistency and these 1%’s add up!

Mindset seems to be a recurring theme in achieving your goals. Whilst, yes, self-accountability is a powerful tool in achieving your goals, remember you are only human. Be kind to yourself. If you don’t improve by 1% one day, this is not a set back so long as you get back on track. One slip up does not equate to failure. Staying consistent and positive is key.

It is easy to think of your goal as the main event. In reality, this is often far from the truth. Your goal is achieved through a sequence of moments or actions that prepare you. It is achieved through a number of choices you are presented with, whether you make those marginal improvements or you settle as you are. This mindset, and your consequent actions are so practiced, it’s automatic. They’re habit.

So, what can you do today to be 1% better than yesterday?

Who knows where those 1%’s might lead you in a year’s time? But if you don’t try, if you discount these 1% improvements, chances are you’re still stood at base looking up at the peak of the mountain.

Mastering habits is a critical component of this. Not sure where to start? Check out our previous blog on habits HERE

Feeling inspired? Find out more about Sir Dave Brailsford’s philosophy HERE

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