Guaranteeing your results, Persistent Progression, and Numbers
Do you focus on results? Yes?
Many people say they do.
You might too.
And that can be a good thing because it is crucial to know what your outcome is in any situation.
But… it’s also possible to be over-focused on results. Let me explain.
I think it was the comedy duo, David Walliams and Matt Lucas, who I heard in a radio interview say that it took them 15 years to become an overnight success!
Many people have seen TV programmes like X Factor and the like and think they are just one audition from the front pages of the celebrity magazines, from living their ‘best life’. And yes, such things can happen for some people.
But, you and I know that more often than not, it is the regular, habitual activities that make the difference… doing the hard yards.
This cropped up recently with one of my clients. He judged everything by the results he was getting, immediately, forgetting that the results were not a reflection of what he had just done a moment ago. He began lots of new initiatives but didn’t let the work take effect before tinkering. He became demoralised that the results were not following his new actions. In short, he was impatient. In some way, at some level, he didn’t have faith in the actions he had planned that would lead to the right results, and was always shifting and changing… too much, too often.
We agreed that a shift in the point of focus was required.
I suggested that rather than focusing on the results, the shift was to concentrate on those activities that produce the results. That way, your focus is purely on things that are in your control – a system of activity. The results will take care of themselves and will become consistent, predictable, guaranteed.
One of the key principles of my NEXUS Code is the concept of Persistent Progression.
Persistence in that it requires you to dig deep, to do what others won’t do, consistently.
Progression in that it is along a continuum leading to a specific outcome that is desired, a goal.
Many people talk about persistence being important, and it is. But without the Progression, persistence is simple banging your head on a wall. Progression along a defined path towards a specific goal is needed.
This is about identifying the simple and significant actions that taken on a regular, sustained basis, will lead to the goal and then applying yourself to that activity until you get there.
Persistent Progression is like operating a ratchet. Moving forward to a new level, never slipping back, and then moving onto a higher level, not slipping back, then moving on to an even higher level, and so on… until the goal is reached.
And there’s one more key element to this too… Numbers.
There’s an old saying in business development: “What you can measure, you can manage”.
And I believe the same applies to personal growth too. What you can measure, you can manage. When it comes to developing ourselves, whatever the goal, it pays to be able to measure progress.
Talking to a client the other day about this, he said that he likes to start the day with a swim and isn’t happy until he has done a certain number of lengths of the pool.
And each week, he moves the number upwards.
It’s the same with running, for example… anyone who has done the Couch to 5K programme will immediately recognise this, just as anyone who has run a marathon. Same with weights, or press ups, or whatever activity you choose.
For other fields of endeavour too, having specific numbers is key… as a writer, the number of hours invested in writing, habitually, is crucial, as well as being aware of the word count in some cases.
In business, especially in sales, it’s about the number of calls, reach outs, contacts, the conversion rates, the number of meetings with prospective clients…
All about the numbers.
Numbers make our commitment clear and specific. They provide a target (and the mind loves a challenge). They create accountability. And they measure progress. It’s easy to know you are improving when in week 4 you are doing better than you were in week one. You only know this when you are measuring the numbers. You can feel it, you might believe it. But the numbers prove it. And our little unconscious mind likes that incontrovertible proof. It helps it to believe ABSOLUTELY.
This helps with motivation… knowing you are getting better at something, will inspire you to keep going. Thus, the Persistent Progression becomes self-fulfilling. Sure, we can find motivation by ‘feeling’ we are improving. But the numbers are a much more specific proof that allows us to really believe it.
Now, this all takes time, which is possibly why it has become an unfashionable idea… Yet, it is so worth it. Your persistence will grow like a muscle, a well-developed character trait that can be applied where you most need it. You will start to recognise when that character muscle is activating in other areas of your life too… automatically. It’s become a natural part of who you are – at an identity level. And that creates irresistible change.
Many people think they can just leap to the top, to the head of the queue, to be an “overnight success”. Persistent Progression, with Specific Numbers attached, puts you at the head of the success queue. Because it is what the vast majority fail to do.
Focus on the activities that produce the results- those actions that are in your control, your system of activity. The results will take care of themselves.