By Lee-Anne Misseldine
There is so much busyness in our everyday lives that sometimes the days and months go by and we feel as though we are on autopilot. When this starts to happen, it is time to slow down and take a long hard look at our habits and patterns and begin to become more deliberate with our actions.
The New Year is a great time to reflect and create a life plan based on what you want to accomplish in the year ahead. Since we know that 90% of new year resolutions fall by the wayside within 30 days, what can we do to make sure that our actions and behaviors are constantly moving us towards our goals and not further away from them? Insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting a different result, so if we want to dramatically improve the quality of our lives, let’s dramatically change the way we live of our lives.
You may not have heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule but it’s the concept of unequal input and output. Named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, it has significant relevance to all of us, and especially to junior golfers who invest so much time and effort into their athletic training, expecting an equal result. According to the Pareto principle, 20% of our effort will yield 80% of our results which seems contrary to our lifelong belief that the harder you work, the better you will do. That is because not all things are created equal, and by spending more time understanding yourself, your game, who you want to be as a person, and then creating the right plan to get you there, you will start to identify and focus on your own 20%. When you work hard on the right things, that is when the magic happens.
You may say that this sounds like a lesson on priorities, and in a way it is, but I challenge you to take it one step further. Find the one thing that is the absolute MUST for you, that you know will be what it takes to get you where you need to go. One of my favorite sayings is that if everything is important, nothing is, so find what is most important to your growth, your development and your journey as an athlete, a student and as a person, and give your very best to that!
And remember, your “one thing” is typically not an outcome like a better swing, more club head speed or more physical strength but is usually something like attitude, work ethic, prioritizing your time, quieting your mind. The process is about the “how” to get your outcome, not about focusing on the outcome itself. So if you want that sweet spot when you are on the course, find the daily habit you can practice that makes you better able to get to there. The truth is, we gain ground by creating daily habits and practices that strengthen our mind and build our confidence over time.
Focus is the key to creating an exceptional life, so when you are finished reading this blog, ask yourself what practice can you create in your own life. Whether it is meditation, journaling, exercise, being kind to others, doing your chores…. whatever it may be, find your “one thing” and give it all you have got to make 2017 the year that you give more, be more and achieve more than you ever imagined. Live with focus and with passion!