“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew”. –Saint Francis de Sales
The last time you were waiting in line at the grocery store, you probably saw a magazine headline similar to the following: “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” They sell thousands of copies because people want to read all about the “quick fix.” Who would buy the magazine that made the following promise: “Lose 2 sizes in 12 months”? Doesn’t sound quite so catchy, does it? Twelve months seems like a long time off for most people and it doesn’t seem to have the same appeal. Our society is more geared toward instant gratification and I don’t see the magazine making the 12-month claim flying off the shelves.
In the past 12 months, I have dedicated myself to going to hot yoga and hot vinyasa flow yoga classes an average of three times per week in addition to exercise on the elliptical machine. It has taken almost a year, but I have gone down about two sizes and have never felt better. I only weigh a few pounds less but the real difference is in the fit of my clothes and not obsessing over the scale has helped me stay on track. I’ve also increased my flexibility and upper body strength and I’ve done it by being patient and by being content with sometimes “teeny tiny” increments of progress.
And it isn’t just about weight loss. We want to be at the top of our profession as soon as possible and when we take up a new hobby or sport, we want to get good and we want to do it fast! But, just as a tree does not grow to be strong and tall overnight, we cannot expect sudden and dramatic changes in ourselves and expect for them to last.
This week, as I was reading Darren LaCroix’s blog Stage Time, I came across a super quote by Alan Weiss, PhD, "If you improve by 1% each day, in 70 days you'll be twice as good." It is empowering to realize that even with small, incremental changes, we can become significantly better in less than three months! All it takes is the commitment (and patience) to do something, one thing – to get better each day.
And let’s not forget the “10,000 Hour Rule” as presented by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. Gladwell explains the importance of practice and suggests that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to be the best, to be a superstar, to be at the top of your game. Take Bill Gates for example, Gladwell explains that he spent most of his early years in his school’s computer lab. He had extensive access to a state-of-the-art computer lab, which was very unusual at the time given that the equipment he was using was not widely available. By the time he dropped out of Harvard after his sophomore year to try his hand at his own software company, Gates had already been programming nonstop for seven consecutive years. He was well past the 10,000 hour mark.
What one thing can you do today, to come one step closer (even if it feels like a “teeny tiny” step) to one of your life or career goals? No matter what you have on your plate today, you can make time to practice for one minute or one hour and still be closer to realizing your goal. We would love to hear what YOU are working towards and be kept up-to-date on your progress.
Keep marching forward, one step at a time!