“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek small improvements one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens–and when it happens, it lasts.”- John Wooden
How can you apply this to your workouts?
Elite athletes excel at the little things. They don’t cheat efficiency. They put in the time needed on the basics and only then do they start to ramp up the intensity.
This is the only way you can have something last. You might be able to get away with bad form and still do really well, but it’s only a matter of time before it catches up to you.
If only we could all remember this when the clock starts each workout instead of throwing caution to the wind and just going as hard as possible.
Why not start today? Start with the basics. Do the little things right. If you can’t do the little things right, right away, then that is your starting point. Once you get that down, then you can ramp up the intensity, not the other way around.
How can you apply this to your mobility?
For those of you that were with us back in September, do you remember the Squatember Challenge? How comfortable were you in the bottom of your squat for ten minutes a day?
Personally speaking, it wasn’t very easy the first week. The second week was better, the third week was even better and the last week was awesome.
We did exactly what this quote says and little by little things got better, not at day two or three, but over time. Which means if you want something badly enough you will have to work for it.
Let’s say that you currently are experiencing shoulder pain. Each workout you are faced with two options: 1) you can gut it out and push through the discomfort hoping that it doesn’t getting any worse; 2) you can come into the gym early or stay late working on shoulder mobility and ask for a modification until your shoulder mobility improves or pain subsides.
This seems like an easy decision, but when you are faced with that cool looking workout that has overhead squats in it and you really want to do it, what are you going to do?
How can you apply this to your nutrition?
You don’t have to completely overhaul your diet to notice results. Well, for some of you, this probably is not a true statement, but for those of you who eat well during the week and go crazy on the weekends, there seems to be a glaring way to improve.
Instead of eating and drinking whatever you want on Friday and Saturday, and making that easy call to the local pizza shop for lunch on Sunday, try cutting this down to one day per week instead of the two and a half to three days of terrible eating.
You don’t have to be a complete saint, you can have fun too, but how fun is it when year after year nothing changes and you always feel the same way?
Once you make a little change, continue to do so in other more manageable ways each month, and at the end of the year, look at how far you have come.
How can you apply this to your life away from the gym?
Maybe a way to improve your lifestyle outside of the gym means having a better work-life balance. Instead of grinding through each day because you can, take a hour or two break to do something you enjoy or maybe that your significant other enjoys. Watch how you reduce your stress by doing this everyday over a period of time.
Maybe its shutting down the TV, computer and cell phone two hours before bed, and spending time with people or getting cozy to read a book. I was amazed at how much of an effect this had on me and that the results were almost immediate.
Maybe it’s just going to bed an hour earlier than you are now, or in the case of this quote, going to bed fifteen minutes earlier each week going so at the end of the month you have eased your way into going to bed one hour earlier. Watch how energized you will feel and how ready you are to get out and tackle the day.
There are many different areas in our day-to-day lives that this quote can help us slow down and do it the right way. How else can you make a change in your life by taking this simple advice?