One of the highest-leverage ways to use Deliberate Repetition is with your Personalized Success Ritual. Discover how one of the most famous Olympians used this approach to win gold medals.
“For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned.”
The rarest and most valuable form of action is ‘Deliberate Repetition’. This technique will help you get the most from the efforts you put into your life. One of the highest-leverage ways to use Deliberate Repetition is with your Personalised Success Ritual.
I recommend doing it first thing in the day. Why? Your morning sets your context for the day; it sets the ‘frame’ by which you judge everything else that happens during the day. If you set the context in the morning right, you’ll have a great day. If you have a great day, it’ll
set the context up for a great week, month, etc.
Your inner game — how you’re feeling about yourself — is the highest leverage in your life. Your morning ritual can really help you get into a great inner-game state.
When planning your ritual, think of what would make you strong physically, emotionally, and mentally. My morning ritual includes drinking water, exercising for twenty minutes, taking a bath, and having a healthy, energizing breakfast.
After I’ve done my morning ritual, I feel clear, I’m centered, and I’m ready for my day. I’m ready for anything that comes at me. I feel like nothing can really knock me off.
When I don’t do my morning ritual, I feel like I’m in reactive mode all day. I still get a lot done, but I’m not nearly as productive, and by the end of the day I can feel pretty worn out.
Find a first meal of the day that really works for you. Consider making it as organic and raw as possible. Include some protein as well. Write down the conditions that need to be in place for you to focus during the “First two hours of your day”, and ‘flow-chart’ the actual steps in your new ritual. Imagine how it’s going to go; see if you forgot any steps. Then go out there and do it.
If you’re getting stuck on a particular step, fix it or remove it. Improve your ritual a little every
week. It’ll pay HUGE dividends.
The key to designing the new habit is as follows:
1) Chunk it down into fifteen-minute bits.
2) Make sure every minute in that piece is carefully planned.
3) Ensure that your environment is designed so that everything is in place for the new habit to take off.
4) Ensure that timing includes preparing to start and winding down.
5) Ensure that your brain does not get tired going through each piece.
6) Note that every new habit takes twenty-one days to form.
7) Rest for twenty-one days before starting a new habit.
8) Have a clear and compelling picture of your life with these new habits in place.
Plan your morning ritual intentionally, step by step. Plan the ‘wind-up’ to your ritual — that’s the ten-fifteen minutes before you start your ritual. Plan the ritual itself, and be super specific. If you’re drinking water, how are you going to remind yourself, where are you going to get it, etc. Plan your exercise, your first meal, etc. Finally, plan the ‘wind down’ to your ritual: how you’ll come back into the stream of the rest of your day. Do your morning ritual every day for the next seven days.
How Does Happiness Relate To Productivity?
-- 31% higher productivity
-- 37 % higher sales
-- Creativity 3 times higher.
Happiness at Work Survey, Nic Marks, nef (new economics foundation, London) 2012
If you have a way of monitoring your productivity, use it. Keep track of your productivity before and after the new habit forms. Often, as you notice the continued gains, this provides the motivation to continue making changes.
Plan to do your most productive work in the first two hours of your work day. The rest of the day should have rituals focused on all the necessary follow-ups that are part and parcel of any business.
Whether we want to admit it, we are all creatures of habit. 99 percent of the things we’ll say, feel, and think today are the same things we said, felt, and thought yesterday.
It’s almost impossible to ‘remember’ to do something different when we need to remember it. The answer is to practice it and make it a routine… so when we need to do it, it’s automatic. This way we leverage our nature as creatures of habit, for our benefit.
If something is the most important thing, if it’s the thing that gets you the highest results, it makes sense to do it every day and make it a habit. To create a successful new routine, you need to plan it IN DETAIL.
When you plan it out, you’ll see it’s a series of steps. You’ll soon find the most efficient sequence for you.
Change is always uncomfortable. If you understand that, you can make the process of learning a new habit more painless and comfortable. The most important rule for learning a new habit is that you must repeat it for twenty-one days.
When you do so, you will initiate a process called neural canalization, literally forming new brain pathways. In addition, when you are learning a new habit, it is important to plan every step down to the last minute and rehearse it. This then provides your brain a template as how to do it. Make sure that you reserve your limited will power to initiate the whole process. (Why is
this last important? Remember that after age thirty-five you have only five minutes of will power daily, so use it sparingly, and for the right things such as jump-starting new habits and processes.) Thereafter, the sequence should kick in.
Routines of Olympians
For years before Michael Phelps became the gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he followed the same routine at every race. He arrived two hours early. He warmed up according to a precise pattern that included an eight-hundred-meter mixer, a fifty-meter freestyle, kicking
six hundred meters with kickboard, pulling a buoy four hundred meters, and more.
Thereafter he would dry off, put in his earphones, and sit (not lie) on the massage table. He would not speak to his coach Bob Bowman until the race was over.
Phelps would put on his race suit at the forty-five-minute mark (i.e., forty-five minutes before the race). At the thirty-minute mark, he would get into the warm-up pool and swim six hundred to eight hundred meters. He would walk to the ready room at the ten-minute mark. He would sit alone with two empty seats next to him, one for his goggles on one side and one for his towel on the other.
When he was called for his race, he would walk to the blocks. There his precise routine was two stretches: first a straight-leg stretch and then a stretch with a bent knee. He would always start with his left leg followed by his right. Then the right ear bud would come out. When his name
was called, he would take out the left ear-bud. He would step on the block, always from the left side and dry the block. Then he would stand and move his arms in a precise, unique fashion.
As the same routine is practiced day in, day out, it takes over. Phelps was going through the same winning race over and over again. In other words, he was repeating what he had done numerous times in training and winning. The Olympics was no exception.
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Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.