I’m not a big ‘self-help’ book fan but I do love books that provide a no-nonsense, easy, and realistic way of either thinking or doing things to make life easier. I mean, let’s face it, life is complicated enough, why not learn strategies and tactics to help make it less so.
I’m not even sure how I came across this book, but I do know that as soon as I started reading it that I had found something extraordinary and life changing.
‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller did just that – it changed my life and now I use it to help change the lives of others.
Let me explain…
Just like anyone else, I have goals, dreams, and aspirations in all aspects of my life – personal, spiritual, and professional. I was on the verge of turning 50 and I felt somewhat accomplished (had worked for the same company for 33yrs—professional) but didn’t feel like I had really accomplished anything noteworthy in my personal or spiritual aspirations. Sure, I was married to the love of my life and that made me happier than I had ever been, but there was something missing. I knew I didn’t want to turn 50 with these feelings, so at 48, I set out on a physical transformation journey that changed the entire trajectory of my life.
I started working with a nutrition coach and by the time I had turned 50, I was in the best shape of my life and felt like all the pieces of my life had finally come together. It was an amazing experience and feeling.
I followed (most) of what my nutrition coach had told me to do, I put all of my trust in that this coach was going to guide me to my end goal. I asked questions, I read A LOT and I learned along the way that I didn’t have to be perfect in my quest for a healthier version of myself.
By then, I had picked up this book and started reading….. and light bulbs went off. The simple concept of the ONE thing is to do just that.. ONE thing such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary. I started using the ONE thing as my safety net for when my nutritional plans for the day went awry. Unexpected or unforeseen events and situations will happen, that is life – but it’s in how we respond to those things that really keep us either moving forward or stuck.
As I tell my clients ALL the time. Forward is forward. It doesn’t matter if it’s a giant leap one day and a small half baby step the next. You’re still moving forward. You’re not stuck.
The trick to keep moving forward no matter how big or small the step, is to identify your ONE thing. Because even when the world is falling apart around you, there is always ONE thing you can do to keep moving forward closer to your dreams and aspirations.
Maybe it’s drinking one more glass of water today than you did yesterday. Maybe you got up from your desk and walked for 5 minutes when you would have been tethered to your desk for 8+ hours. Or, maybe you implemented a bed-time routine to help you get better sleep. Perhaps you ate another serving of veggies or you met your protein goal for the day. Maybe you simply took the stairs instead of the elevator… Whatever IT is, there is always ONE thing and do not underestimate the power of the ONE thing. Your success is defined by the small actions you take consistently and repeatedly every day. Small habits repeated over time lead to results. Your ONE thing does not have to be complicated and by virtue of this practice, it shouldn’t be. For example, if you’re getting on average 3K steps / day and then the next day you say ‘well, my ONE thing for today is that I’m going to get 10K steps’ – no, that’s likely not going to happen because it’s not small or easy enough and if it does happen, it’s likely not to be repeated consistently each day. Your ONE thing needs to be easy, it needs to be small, it needs to be an easy win.
I often refer to this as the ‘safety-net’ to my clients – they hear me talk about this all the time. Because life isn’t perfect, and neither are we and we can’t expect our journey to reach goals to be perfect either and it certainly doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
So, when the best laid plans don’t go the way you hope – deploy your safety net, the ONE thing, such that by doing it will make everything else easier or unnecessary and will keep you moving forward, one small step at a time.
I would be honored to help you create and implement a strategy and a plan to help you reach your goals, but that strategy and plan will also come with a safety net. Your dreams and aspirations are too important to me to not have a safety net we can deploy when the ride gets a bit bumpy.