11 Keys to Maximizing Performance

How to Maximize Performance

Are you capable of more?  Do you have untapped potential?  Would you like to tap into that potential to maximize performance and live a fulfilling life?

Most people who write about achievement and high performance will tell you that success begins with having clear written goals.  But, that’s just not true.

In fact, a study on by the University of Scranton on New Year’s resolutions found that 92% of people have goals fail to achieve them.  Goals are important, but goals alone will not help you reach your full potential.

Here are 11-keys to help you tap into your potential and maximize your performance.

Keys to Tapping Your Full Potential

1.  Align your goals with your purpose

You were put on this planet for a purpose, everyone was.  Before setting goals, take some time to examine what fulfills you.  An excellent place to start is to look at what you value and what comes easily to you.  Tie your goals to your unique abilities and values, and they become purposeful.  Purposeful goals fulfill you.

2. Challenge Your Perspective

The way you see the world influences everything you think and do, but the way you see the world isn’t the way the world is, it’s just your view.  There are many ways of seeing the world.  What if you took some time to examine those perspectives, and then intentionally chose a picture that serves you and your purpose?

3. Examine your experience

Everything that “happens” to you is an effect of some cause.  It is nothing more than an experience. Take some time to examine it.

What do you feel? How do you feel it? Where do you feel it in your body?  Describe the feeling.  What thoughts does it elicit?  What can you learn from those thoughts and feelings?

How is what you are experiencing different from what you want to experience?  What changes can you make to get a different effect?

4. You can’t hit a target if you don’t have one

Most people don’t have a target, and they hit it with amazing accuracy. If you want to get somewhere, make sure your destination is clear.

Know where you’re going.  Know why you want to get there.  Identify your ideal outcome.  And, above all else align your destination with your purpose (see point one above).

5. What if it were simple

One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their goals is that they over complicate it.  They think it has to be hard.  But, what if it were simple?  What if there were only 3-5 things you had to focus on to achieve your goal? There are.

If you put too much on your to-do list, it becomes overwhelming and you won’t do anything.  So, look for the critically few activities that will have the most significant impact.

If you put a bunch of activities in your schedule that you don’t enjoy, you’ll avoid them.  So, look for the few activities that you will enjoy.

The fewer things you have to do, the more likely you are to do them.  The more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you are to do it.

Identify no more than 5-key milestones to achieve your goal (fewer is better), and make sure they’re things that you will enjoy doing.  Pursuing your goals should be challenging, and fun.

6. Shorten your timeline

While it’s essential to have a long-term vision when it comes to achievement, the shorter the schedule, the better.   Shorter deadlines create a sense of urgency.  The two easiest and most enjoyable times to engage in a goal are at the start and the end.  It’s the middle that stops us.

So, do your best to shorten or eliminate the middle.  What if you only had 83-days to accomplish what it is you want to achieve?  That’s less than 3-months.

Take the 3-5 keys you identified above (see point 5), and build a plan to accomplish them in 83-days.
Then break that plan down into weekly milestones.  Those milestones become weekly goals.

Write out your plan to achieve your weekly goal in advance.  Now you have a series of twelve weekly goals over the next 83-days.  It’s a series of starts and stops with a small middle.

Merely go to work accomplishing this week’s goal.  You can do anything for one week.

I have based this strategy on a framework in the book The 12-Week Year: Get More Done in 12-Weeks than Others do in 12-Months, by Brian Moran.

7. Focus on winning the day

Nick Saban, one of the most successful college football coaches in history, has famously said that you win a football game seven seconds at a time.  Seven seconds is the average length of a play in football.

The same is true is achieving your goals.  You win your week one day at a time.  You can accomplish anything if you focus on what you can do with today.

Want to win the year?  Win the month.  Want to win the month?  Win this week.  To win the week, win today.

But, what if you don’t win this day?  Well, that means you lost.   And, here’s the thing, you are going to lose some days.  That’s just the way it is.  Nobody wins them all.

Here’s a rule for you, though. You can lose a day, but don’t lose two in a row. If you lose today, recommit to winning tomorrow.  Then focus on winning the day, one simple goal at a time.

8. Measure your progress

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and yet most people don’t track their progress.  Why?  Because it’s not fun, it tends to shine the light on our shortcomings, and we make it difficult.

So, here is the plan I recommend. Be less concerned with measuring the outcome, and more intentional about measuring progress and execution. And, don’t measure too often.

The best way to measure is to score your weekly plan.  Pick one day to review the past week. What percentage of your weekly plan did you accomplish? Shoot to execute on no less than 80% of your program each week?

Measurement is critical, but you have to be careful not to overcomplicate it.   The analysis is essential, but don’t get caught measuring too many things.  There are very few critical indicators of success.  Measure those.

9. Celebrate

Before you set out to achieve your goal, pick a reward for hitting the target.  That will give you something to look forward to.

At the end of your 83-days if you hit your goal, reward yourself with the predetermined prize.  If you didn’t hit your mark, celebrate your progress.  It’s true that the journey is more important than the destination.  So, celebrate the progress that you made, the growth you’ve had and the lessons you’ve learned.

10. Learn

The goal is the byproduct of your thoughts and actions.  It’s the effect of a specific cause.  The goal isn’t the point.  The point is growth.

The goal is not the end; it is a means to self-improvement, to tapping into your full potential and maximizing your performance.  Whether or not you hit the target, you win if you learn from the experience.

Take some time to assess your progress. What did you learn about your goal, about your development, about yourself?  It’s this review that will add real meaning to the journey and your life.

11. Reset

Now it’s time to rinse and repeat.  Take the learnings from your last attempt and put them to work for you.  What would you do again, what would you do differently?

If you hit your goal, set a new one. If you didn’t, maybe it’s time to take another crack at it.  Or, perhaps you determine that it wasn’t a compelling goal after all.  Either way, it’s time to start again.

Tap into your potential

If you follow the 11-Keys to Maximize Performance, you will achieve more than you ever have in the past, and more importantly, you will come closer to living a fulfilling life of purpose.  I know this to be true, because I’ve seen it work in my life, and I’ve seen it work for the hundreds of high-performers I have coached.

What do You Think

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