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Committing to Great Change

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interview many of the world’s top athletes and champions.

While their greatness had more to do with their inner characteristics than their ability to touch their toes, I’d be out-of-touch if I completely overlooked the physical conditioning of the great ones. To this day, Michael Jordan looks like he could put a jersey on and make an NBA roster. Michael Phelps’ superior physique was ideal for making historic Olympic splashes but his discipline in achieving strong health and endurance can’t be ignored.

And neither will mine. During a recent trip to San Diego for SUCCESS Publisher Darren Hardy’s High Performance Forum, I sat next to Jeff Smith, an entrepreneur from England. Over discussions about the challenge of living life often on the road, I shared with Jeff that I had a desire to lose some weight. He suggested a call with a personal trainer named Dan Forbes… Several remarkable conversations later, the Englishman convinced me into what could be one of my greatest challenges yet. I intend to lose 25 pounds by January 1st.

While it’s not an insurmountable goal, it definitely isn’t a piece of cake–which under the circumstances, is a good thing. But this goal will not be littered with a mountain of exercise techniques and nutritional “do’s & don’ts”… Instead Forbes challenged me to change one habit at a time, each for a 2-week period. The concept is that when a person is loaded with a big list of changes to make all at once, very rarely do they have the endurance to achieve their goal.

Forbes said if “you commit to breaking one habit for a period of two weeks, your chance for successfully breaking that one habit is around 85 percent.” He went on to explain that the success rate drops significantly when you add more to an already life-changing restriction. “Try and break two habits at the same time and the success rate is 30 percent,” he continued. “Try breaking three habits at the same time and you have no chance at all.”

The eye-opening lesson here simply focuses on how you create winning habits in your personal life and business life. Changing or creating a habit one-at-time ensures greater accuracy in reaching your goal.

If only the lesson stopped there… Forbes then challenged me to ” go public” with my goal. The logic behind making it part of my platform is to make me directly accountable for its success or failure. No one likes to talk about their own failures, and now that my goal is public, failure will not be an option.

What have you been wanting to change that can actually be broken down into singular commitments over a period of time? What habits of yours are preventing you from going from good to great?

Join the conversation today.

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Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)

About Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, 11-time New York Times best-selling author, leadership expert and executive coach.

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