Peak Performance Strategy: “WOW!” Yourself
By Thomas Hadley
As we are being focused and productive during our week, we are getting a lot of important, non-urgent things done. We are working in what Stephen Covey calls “Quadrant 2” in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So we are making great progress for the long haul. This should make up the bulk of our activities. These activities are good. We are preventing disasters and fires and are investing in our long-term success and the success of those we come into contact with. However, this can be a trap.
Have you ever gotten to the end of a week and realized that you accomplished everything that was on your calendar for the week only to ask yourself, “What Massive Actions have I taken this week? What huge accomplishments have I made this week in working toward my goals?” You didn’t WOW yourself! Maybe every day you have had your spiritual devotional times, exercise routine, quality time with your wife and family, studied in the areas that you need to gain expertise in for certain goals, met all of your sales goals, contributed to your church ministry and community. But when you think about it, you didn’t slap ANY HOME RUNS or worse yet, you didn’t even SWING at any balls to try to do so. You didn’t WOW yourself!
What do I mean? If your goal is to write a book, did you take any action last week that cause you to look on your list of accomplishments and say, “Wow! I can’t believe I finished 4 chapters in my book. The goal was to ‘try’ to get two chapters done and I completed four!” If your goal is to close $3000 in sales, maybe you took action that would be required to close $10,000. It would not matter if you actually closed the sales. The important thing is that you took the action that YOU have the power to take. The results are not entirely up to us. The reason I said earlier that living in Quadrant 2 can be a trap is that we can end up settling into consistency and cease to stretch our limits. We may begin to live based on plans and not reach down into our creative energies and call into action our reserves of fortitude.
To do this is going to require some planning. The first part of the planning is to set your baseline goals, objectives and action items (activities & appointments). This is the planning that you would do by Sunday night typically. After all of this planning has been done, then create your “WOW! List.” I recommend having no more than three items on that list. You should certainly have at least one WOW! Item for every single week. These goals should not be random, but should be in alignment with your overall objectives, goals, vision, life purpose and values. It is also important that your WOW! List items do not interfere with the accomplishment of your baseline goals, objectives and action items– and most definitely not your values. For example, if you completed those four chapters of your book, but did not complete your personal development materials for the week, you still (in my opinion) have a net successful week. However, if completing those four chapters of the book interfered with you celebrating your wedding anniversary… Well, I don’t think I need to say anything about that. You are hosed! You have definitely netted an unsuccessful week. You won’t be able to make that up for a year. I hope you have a comfortable couch to sleep on till this storm passes over.
After completing the planning of your week’s baseline goals, objectives and action items, write on a yellow sheet of paper 1-3 WOW! Items that you are going to reach for this week.
Applying this simple peak performance strategy will help you in performing at your peak in every area of your life.