Theory Of Averages
It is tough to push, drag yourself and keep sane while you try to become better in a skill. The initial inspiration is good for only 1 week. After that your body and mind starts playing games. Where they tell you it is okay to stop and lose the game.
And sure enough you quit. Consider going to the gym – everyone wants to become fit. But they don’t do any exercises. And when the new year starts – the most common resolution people make is to visit gym regularly.
You enroll yourself in the best gym in town, buy gym clothes and tell every one of your accomplishment. But the mojo lasts for maximum 1 month. The gym people knows this. Hence they keep on taking members more than their gym’s capacities. Because they know you won’t come. Or the irregularities of your schedule will make time for the serious gym goers.
You might have noticed how easy is to stop doing something. For example, if you intend to become better in swimming then you hope to take regular classes. Once you skip a day or two, your brain immediately fires up the excuse that it is okay to skip more. Next time, when you are faced with little distraction which can be avoided – you go on to skip. Because you have made peace that it is okay to skip a day or two.
So, next time you miss one of your commitments – go hard the next time. And tell yourself the narrative that it isn’t okay to skip days. The idea is to not let the occasional skipping becoming a habit.
Did you see the irony…
At one hand, you are trying to build a habit of change, accomplishing something or improving your skill. And on the other hand, you want to not make a habit of skipping your commitments.
This happens because it is easy to make a bad habit last. Because it is lucrative and easy. Hence it is a must that you focus on the negative aspect and not let it become a habit.
Don’t Hesitate To Do More
Every day is different – stress, body energy or the daily chores. It is natural to lose enthusiasm on some days. But you know skipping a day is dangerous – if it becomes a habit.
So what do you do…
You do the thing. That’s it. Just lower the rep count if it is an exercise. Or lower the word count if you are writing an article. Whatever your goal is that you want to accomplish – do little of that. Because you want not to skip. You may think what is the use of doing little. And sure enough if you look at one day and the work you did – it might be nothing.
But over period of time say 1 year, there will be at least 60 days where you will feel low. And your persistence to keep going on that day would help your overall success. Because your inputs will average out with the total output.
Lets see with an example :
- You can write 100 words for 5 days – best thing
- You can write 100 words for 3 days and skip 2 days – avoid this
- You can write 100 words for 3 days and 50 words for 2 days. So you would average with 80 words for 5 days. And you should aim for this. Because you will feel like skipping now and then. So push yourself to do at least something.
The theory of averages is another way to say – I opt for the long-term. If you do something small every day then over long-term – it will be massively beneficial to you.
For example, doing 10 push ups each day will strengthen your body. And over time you will naturally progress to 20 or 50 push ups. And all of that exercise will build up more mass. Hence, it is advisable to start small. Once you are comfortable with the pace, you will grow automatically.
On other hand, if you focus on starting big. Or stating reasons – I can’t do 50 push ups. All of these will shunt your vision to see the future.
It is okay if you can’t do humongous things now. Because you will be able to do it when the time is right and your mind and body is capable. Meanwhile start what you can do.