Sunday, May 17, 2015

My +1 Practice

No, this has nothing to do with party and wedding invitations where you freak out because you don't have a "plus one." Nor does this have anything to do with integers. This a practice that forces me to not be lazy and to do just a little bit more. Let me explain.

Say I'm staring at a pile of laundry that I don't want to deal with because I'm tired and it's huge. I tell myself just "plus one". I tell myself it is just fine to only put up one thing and leave the rest of it for later. I grab one towel and fold it. Of course, at that point I might as well do another because hauling one towel by itself  upstairs is silly. And then I just keep "plus one"ing until I've done a lot! I may not get the whole pile, but I'll get quite a bit!

If I have a goal of finding seven things to donate or throw away, I'll often challenge myself when I'm done by looking for a "+1".  Just one little extra thing gone will make a huge difference over the course of multiple purgings!

Stretching and mobility is something I know I should do, but it's so boring! My mind is always thinking about things I "should" be doing instead and I get frustrated. Some days I challenge myself to just "+1". This means I just stop for one minute and stretch. That plus one isn't much, but it's better than nothing and it usually translates into more than just a minute!

When I'm picking up around the house and think I'm done, I try to do +1. Maybe it's washing one more pan or throwing in one more load of laundry. Maybe it's picking up one more of Jeremy's shirts out of the floor! Doing +1 doesn't take that much more time, but the difference it makes is exponential!

Have you ever done a max rep set of an exercise? This is where you do as many reps as you can until failure. Many times we quit just shy of true failure because we don't have confidence in ourselves. When you do that rep you think is your last, challenge yourself to "plus one" it. You can do it! And if not, you still gained from the attempt of +1!

When you are setting your goals, make them harder by applying the plus one theory. Have a goal of 3 strict pull ups? Make it 4! Want to increase your business sales by 20% next year? Go for 21%!

We are capable of so much more than we realize! When you apply the +1 practice, you push yourself to do better. It's simple because one is so small. One isn't intimidating! One is do-able.

Giving yourself permission to start with just +1  is not scary. Cleaning out just one drawer is complety within reason. Thinking about all 15 you need to do is frightening!

Plus one is a great way to get started or to go a little further!

Jeremy would disagree that I apply this to ALL areas of my life (picking up my toys at the gym, ahem) but I try use what I call the "plus one" practice every day.

Do you think you could use the +1 practice to enhance your goals and progress?

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