On Getting in "Reps."

If you want to improve in any area, you know you need to get in “reps,” (AKA repetitions).

But where almost everyone falls short is this; What mechanism do you have to get in those reps?

The hardest part of a habit is actually, well, forcing yourself to do it. And we know this is true. We know how to workout, yet we hire trainers and teachers because they force us to do it.

We know it’s hard because we play all types of tricks on ourselves to get up and go with a habit. Or to avoid it. We put money on the line, place bets, create deterrents for failing to practice. We rationalize. We gain momentum. We fall off the habit wagon.

Have you built a structure that supports or enforces you practicing the habit?

One of the single most important things you can do for yourself is to spend time one the structure of the system that supports your habit, vs. spending time trying to force yourself through sheer will to practice it.

And that takes learning how you operate. And it takes taking a different type of action, that puts you in a position to succeed and grow.

A couple examples of structures that support a habit:

  • Signing up for a yearlong toastmasters club where you public speak every month

  • Finding a few customers to pay you for a recurring job (that includes practicing your habit)

  • Getting 5 friends and yourself to sign up for a half marathon

Spend more time on getting the right mechanism for you, and you’ll find the habit comes in easy.

Quick aside: There are two types of reps.

There are reps you do to strengthen a very specific muscle (this could be lifting just one area of your body). To target a weakness and strengthen it individually so the whole performs better. 

Then its’ the real thing.there’s reps where you pretend

This is putting yourself in as close of a situation as you possibly can to the real thing, and working out everything at once. For example, you could gather 15 friends for dinner and then practice your TED talk in front of a screen before you actually speak at TED.

After some time with your habit, you can look to split it into these two types for more impactful growth.

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LifestyleDavid Sherry