Who sang: “It ain’t what you do …”?
It’s the way that you do it … in the NEW Year.
T’ain’t What You Do was first recorded in 1939 by Ella Fitzgerald, and later by Fun boy Three and Banarama, and I suspect that the version you remember first says a lot about your musical preferences!
It ain’t what you do it’s the place that you do it
It ain’t what you do it’s the time that you do it
It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
That’s what gets results
~ Melvin “Sy” Oliver and James “Trummy” Young
These lyrics suggest that you get results not because of what you do, but how, where and when you do what you do. One thing is for sure: you don’t get results by focusing only on the results. Instead, you get results by focusing on the things you do that produce the results you want.
So, if you want to lose weight and get fitter then the things you need to focus on usually include what and when you eat, and how much exercise you do.
As the New Year approaches, we often have a period at the start of the year where we compile a list of New Year’s Resolutions and discuss them with our family and friends. “I’ll start doing this, and stop doing that, and by the summer I’ll be in Beach Body shape” (or whatever your resolution involves this year). It’s often these New Years resolutions that contribute a large proportion of the revenue for fitness clubs and gym memberships: sign up for a year and attend for a month. That’s why a gym can have a large membership with small premises.
‘T ain’t what you bring it’s the way that you bring it
‘T ain’t what you swing it’s the way that you swing it
‘T ain’t what you sing it’s the way that you sing it
The best results are obtained when we go for input goals, and use them as a series of stepping stones to reach the result that we’re after.
So, for example, at the start of 2017, I gave myself the target of losing 4 stone in weight (or 60 lbs) by the end of the year. That goal on its own needed to be broken down into manageable challenging steps to be effective, so I identified some “input goals” that had to do with regular manageable exercise targets and food consumption goals, and some interim milestones for my target weight by Easter, by the summer, and for the end of the year.
As I write now with the end of the year in sight I actually managed to achieve my target weight before the start of winter, although that was just after a tummy upset that left my digestive system entirely empty, and it has risen since. I suspect that I am going to miss the target by the end of the year, but I have managed to get within a few pounds of my target by focussing on these input goals and some interim targets.
In the days before the internet and instant entertainment, circus acts used to provide a source of entertainment. Now I don’t plan to discuss the merits and living conditions of the animals and circus performers, but I do want to consider one of the acts. Although like me you’ve probably never stepped inside the lions’ enclosure, you may remember the Lion Tamer would often be seen holding a chair or stool in front of the lion’s face. It seemed as though the lion was rendered harmless with the use of this magic device. Apparently, though, the lion would look at all four chair legs and try and focus on all four at the same time, which caused confusion and sufficient distraction so that the animal didn’t attack the trainer.
The same thing can happen with our New Year Resolutions. We set ourselves a collection of goals and we plan to tackle them all together over the initial weeks and months of the year, only to find that a similar confusion and distraction sets in, and we don’t actually achieve any of them. So this January, why not focus on one goal, one result, and actually achieve that one thing. Do something NEW for the New Year – just one thing, and that’s your Next Exciting Win.
In order to achieve your Next Exciting Win, you’ll need to focus on the input goals and use these four steps to help you achieve it.
1. Define it CLEARLY. Firstly, you’ll need to define your goal in a way that is clear and unambiguous. What will this goal look like and feel like, and when will it be achieved. A key to achieving the goal is to define it in a way that you find exciting. Figure out what makes it an exciting goal and focus on clearly defining that excitement.
2. Plan it CAREFULLY. Second, you’ll need to figure out what steps you’ll need to take to get to your target. Avoid the temptation to rush this stage, and make sure to work on making each step exciting, how will it make you feel. Include something in each step that will make you want to achieve it.
3. Show it CONSPICUOUSLY. The next step is not to keep it a secret. That’s not to say that the newspapers need to know all about it, but think about how you can demonstrate progress, and who you’ll invite to monitor and celebrate your progress with. Maybe a wall-chart is for you, and you’ll want to fill that in as you make progress, or perhaps you’re more excited by using an app that shows progress and gives you feedback on your progress.
4. Revisit it CONTINUALLY. Finally, make sure that your goal is on your mind regularly. For some that can be a note on the fridge door, others will want to create a chart to track progress, and for others having someone ask about progress regularly will help. Keep track and keep on track.
Make this goal your Next Exciting Win and have a great NEW year.
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.