Put some 80/20 into 12/13

Posted on December 12, 2012

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80-20So the silly season is pretty much upon us now.  The weather is cooler and there’s a festive spirit in the air.  During my morning runs, I catch myself belting out Christmas tunes at the top of my voice. By day, online shopping seems way more enticing than any of this work malarkey and by night, now that the cooler weather is upon us, I find myself snuggling up on the sofa … large glass of red in one hand, more-ish nibbles not far from the other … feeling excited about what the future holds.

The next few weeks are fairly inevitable in that they will feature an abundance of late nights and later starts, tucking into treats & sweets, upping the usual wining and dining and no doubt as a result, putting a little more on the lips as well as the hips.

During the holiday season, it’s easy to fall out of a routine training-wise but keeping up the momentum is so super worthwhile, for your sanity as much as your waistline. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to start putting some closure to 2012 and some thought into 2013 … the goals achieved and those outstanding, the places to discover, the countries to explore, the races to enter, the adventures to embark on …

When it comes to planning, I find my own bucket list gets longer and longer every year, even though my work : play balance increasingly lends itself to the latter rather than the former. Tim Ferris, eat your heart out …

You’re probably familiar with the 80/20 rule: 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results. Flipped upside down, 80% of our activities produce only 20% of our results. With this in mind, try not fall into the trap of wasting time with trivial details … those that don’t produce results.

Instead …

  • Revisit the goals you had set for yourself in 2012 and think about those you accomplished. Did you achieve what you set out to do? If so, what were the determining factors for your success and if not, why did you come up short.  Be brutally honest with yourself …
  • Now, write down any weaknesses that came apparent in this years training and racing. Prioritise them from most important to least and think about how you plan to address each one. Sure, they may never become your strengths but the weakest link in the chain can often determine your level of success so any improvement will benefit you. Keep in mind that weaknesses can take many shapes. In terms of running for example, think lack of endurance, poor posture, a weak core, lack of mental preparation, poor planning, bad nutrition and so on …
  • Now look at your strengths. Ever heard the saying, “Train your weaknesses and race your strengths.” How can you use your strengths to your advantage? What type of races complement your strengths?
  • Now shift your focus to 2013. Is there one particular race or event that you simply must do or accomplish? The one that will define your season a success? If so, make this your ‘A’ race and plan anything / everything else around it.
  • Next … start setting down some actionable steps to achieve the above. Focus on the bigger picture with activities, training and or planning and preparation that will yield the greatest results. Is a structured, periodised training plan critical to your success? Is it time to put your erratic and non-systematic training programmes to rest? (note to self: yes!) Is a coach or a running club the best way forward? How and where will you incorporate cross-training to supplement your miles? What other lifestyle changes do you need to make?

All pretty straightforward questions but there seem to be so many who don’t really look back on the year that has past and equally as many who don’t look forward and plan. It’s also no easy task to be brutally honest with yourself but only then will you discover what really floats your boat and which direction you want to be heading in.

And surely, there’s no better way to start a new year than with your compass heading you in just the way you want it to …

Happy planning! x

 

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