The 1,000 Hour Challenge

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I’ve always been a goal setter. I can’t remember a time after my earliest formative years when I didn’t aim to improve in one or even more areas of my life. However, I would love to have a smile for every time I fail; Like the times I fought the laziness of getting up early to exercise when I was a teenager.
And when I consider all my failed goals, I have to be fair to myself and also consider my successes; and there were many. I would even suggest that I have already achieved most of the visible, tangible, carnal based personal growth goals – but quite a struggle remained until recently.
I’ve struggled throughout my adult life to regulate my diet in a consistently disciplined way. I’ve managed to eat well ninety percent and exercise self-control, but then I’ve had my flat tires, which have sometimes left me poking and grazing for a day or two, usually on the weekends.
I have thought about this problem for a long time the final frontier as far as carnal desires are concerned. I had probably tried a hundred times (or maybe more) to take control of this aspect of my life before, all to no avail, until now.
I did the following:
1. Thinking I needed to focus so hard on this goal, I planned my next 1,000 hours starting at 7am on a Monday morning. I made myself a pocket-sized review sheet with bundles of five hours lumped together; there were ten bundles of five lessons each line (fifty lessons each line) and twenty lines.
2. I diligently tracked each five-hour installment on my road to success, even counting my percentage completion measurement and celebrating as the hour count and percentage increased.
3. I’ve set myself some sensible and basic rules, including some fasting at lunchtime, the need to have a full breakfast, eating fruits and vegetables, and exercising every day. I tried to achieve a half-hungry feeling and keep it up on a daily basis. I also made sure to switch to mental autopilot.
4. Then I focused on process, process and more process; forget the result I was looking for even wanted to delay it.
Then I found that I had learned the following things while the process:
1. My goal-oriented thinking soon turned 180 degrees. I started to really enjoy every part of the process. I didn’t hate the trip like I used to. I didn’t long to complete it so I could go back to my old ways. In my mind these old ways were now history – a significant part of my past. Yes, past.
2. I considered every 0.1 percent toward the goal to be significant milestones. If we remember that we sleep for hours every 24-hour day, a few hours were incredibly easy. For every hour that was in front of me, there was an open and clean possibility that I would react and react perfectly and win this present fight. Achieving the current perfection of the goals we have set is so very affirming.
3. The most important lesson I learned was whether we really want to achieve something we have to keep an eye on it. It has to become the most important thing in our conscious thought pattern.
4. At every other goal point, I have found that the hardest part is holding onto the hard-won ground that has already been gained, ie staying focused and on course without jeopardizing the goal in the longer term. I tried to achieve this by adding a second thousand hours and then a third. So what I would end up with was a solid 123 days consistent track record habit. That’s four months of consistently doing the same thing day in, day out, hourly.
Achieving all of our goals is actually a very simple process. The word “process” is effective; it is basic. This method worked for me because I’ve always been math oriented. It might work for you too.
Whatever we do, we must never give up on our dreams and goals. A hundred failures can precede the crowning success. Your moment of victory!

© 2009 SJ Wickham.

Thanks to Steve Wickham

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