Standardize Before You Optimize

People who are masters of what they do are able to see patterns that most people can’t. There are patterns of success and there are patterns of failure.

You have certain areas of your life you are a master at – you know the patterns! And you also have certain areas of your life you may not be as masterful at.

One foundational way to building better patterns is by building better habits.

Most people mess up building new habits for a few reasons:

  • They try to do it perfectly
  • They try to do too much right away
  • They don’t appreciate the importance of consistency. They think they can make up for it all on one day or doing some sort of ‘hack’

The solution is:

  • Lower the expectation/rules of what it means to do the habit ‘perfectly’ i.e. make the game winnable because success can only build upon success
  • Decrease the amount of load to something that seems ridiculously easy and pointless to do
  • Be consistent. Show up, even if it’s for a seemingly insignificant amount of time

One of my favorite books on habit building is Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Here’s a quote from the book that explains it well.

“People often think it’s weird to get hyped about reading one page or meditating for one minute or making one sales call. But the point is not to do one thing. The point is to master the habit of showing up. The truth is, a habit must be established before it can be improved. If you can’t learn the basic skill of showing up, then you have little hope of mastering the finer details. Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis. You have to standardize before you can optimize.”

Make it a standard to show up consistently.

Once you have that down, then focus on optimization.

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Athletic GreensSwannies, Whoop, and BlockFi.

What was your favorite quote or takeaway from this post? Please let me know in the comments. 

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