If you’re an avid reader of my weekly letters, you’ll know that last week I talked about being gritty when it comes to self-improvement.
You can read that one again here if you like, but in a nutshell, this was my point:
If you want to improve something in your life, you’ve gotta do the work.
But how do you stay committed to doing the work, day after day, week after week, month after month – especially on the days when you seem to have slipped backwards?
You follow my Golden Ratio.
Now, now, if you’re a math nerd, settle down ?- I’m not talking about the mathematical Golden Ratio, it’s just the fancy name I gave my little rule about self-improvement.
Let’s dive in.
But first, a story.
After the fire, my physios had me use all kinds of different tools and machines to help me gain back flexibility and movement in my skin and muscles.
One of the machines was called a continuous passive motion machine.
Basically, I’d strap my arm into it, and the machine would move my elbow back and forth – with the aim to get more movement back into the joint every day.
Every day, I would strap my arm into that thing and sit there for hours as it whirred away.
I did this for months.
It was boring, annoying and frustrating. But I did it every day.
Now, here’s the important part to note:
My elbow didn’t get better quickly. It took years.
And although it did eventually improve, it wasn’t a linear improvement.
Some days, it would go really well and I’d feel awesome, and then the next day I just couldn’t do what I’d done the day before.
I think this is a really common misconception. People assume that when they work at something every day, they’ll get a bit better every day too. They assume that their improvement will just go smoothly UP, bit by bit, but always up.
But it doesn’t happen like that.
Improvement isn’t linear.
So, how do you deal with that?
That’s where my Golden Ratio comes in.
My golden ratio is this: when you’re working at something, every day of the week, two out of seven sessions will be AMAZING, three will be OK, and two will be SH*T.
As a ratio, it looks like this:
Very scientific isn’t it?! ?
Part of doing the work is accepting that your track to success isn’t linear, and that some days you’ll go backwards. But, eventually, the yays will outstrip that nays.
The path to success is never a smooth ride, but consistency will oil the track. – Tweet it!
Now, what do you do if your ratio shows more nays than yays? (Who else is sick of this rhyme?! ?) Well, I’ll dive into that next week.
And let me know how your ratio is stacking up, in the comments below.
PS – Building grit and resilience is something I think we should all be working on, but it’s especially important for kids and teens to learn.
That’s why I’m stoked to let you know that we’ve published a young readers edition of my memoir Unmasked. I’ve bundled it up with my eBook Good Selfie and, together this little book duo has stacks of strategies for kids and teens to use. Both books are here, if you know a family who would find them handy.