Making smart decisions is the fastest way to see macro level improvements. But what athlete do you know who regularly takes the time to make smart decisions?
Yeah, me neither.
Making smart decisions requires taking the time to consider the data and research, weighing the pros and cons, and thinking about the long-term implications and potential risks and rewards of each option. Ultimately, our goal should be to achieve the desired outcome in the most efficient and time-effective way.
Are you asleep yet?
Why are athletes so bad at making repeated smart decisions?
One word: EGO.
Our hero mindset stops us from creating systems for decision making.
Instead we focus on swooping in to save the day just before the brink of disaster.
What’s that in the sky!? It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s me…saving me from myself.
Probably not going to be a movie anytime soon.
Outfoxing Your Athlete Attention Deficit Disorder
It’s not just about avoiding injury or picking the right interval set.
The key here is to find a way to dial in your decision making to the specific elements you are focused on.
This might mean adding a cool down to your interval days. Maybe you should be doing some extra mobility work to prevent injuries. Or could be you are trying to eat a healthier lunch.
Whatever it is, remember that each decision you make is part of the bigger picture and will either help or hinder your progress.
The Five Step Process
As you make more and more decisions, you will gather data on what works for you. Then we can put this into a protocol to help you build habits that will sustain you.
Here is a simple process to help you turn actions into habits that will optimize your training.
Identify the specific outcomes you are looking to achieve.
In this example let’s use strength. You want stronger legs to ward off running injuries.
Next, define a daily action that you can do which will create those outcomes.
Could be 20 burpees, 10 box jumps or some wall sits.
Add these actions to your Key Daily Questions spreadsheet (template below).
Be specific with your language such that a “1” means you achieved this action. A “0” means you did not.
Set a reminder each day so you can track your completion rate for these activities. Tracking your progress will help you stay motivated and on track. It will also allow you to see how far you’ve come over time.
Using the Template Google Sheet
Head over to this page.
Sign in to Google, if required.
Click the blue “Use Template” button to add to your Drive.
Here’s a video on how to use the sheet:
And the fifth step I mentioned? (I know you were counting!).
Celebrate your successes.
When you reach a goal or make significant progress, take a moment to celebrate and reward yourself. This will help reinforce the positive feelings associated with your new habits, and will help motivate you to continue working towards your goals.
Keep us posted on your progress!