Repetition? Practice?

It’s the doing of a thing over and over that brings us closer to how we want to be and what we want to achieve. Want to play an instrument? It’ll take practice. Want to be the best at providing value through sales? It will take discipline in learning how best to do that. Want to respond differently in tough situations? It’ll take repetition.

The word “exercise” has a negative connotation for me for some reason. I’ve identified that it’s a barrier to the doing of it. It is an ought-to word for me because, well, exercise is something I “ought to do” for better health. You’ll remember from our one thing series that doing anything because we ought to doesn’t motivate for very long if at all. Newly bought gym memberships in early 2014 are often now becoming unused even at this early date. Oh, I haven’t bought a gym membership in years. I’ve proven definitively that no matter how much I pay, I am not going to go after a while.

I’d rather work in the yard. In my yard that can be both aerobic and strength building through lifting heavy things. I lug lots of groceries in at a time to keep arm strength up. I take the stairs most times up to my mom’s apartment.

I still don’t think of that as exercise. I prefer to think of it as “burning calories.” That motivates me much more than the thinking of it as “exercise.” The first word motivates me, the second word demotivates me even though at the core they are the same thing.

We use words often without considering the meaning we are attaching to them and how we respond to that meaning. “Exercise” doesn’t work for me while “burning calories” does.

What, then, is your motivating word for doing something over and over again to get you to your one-thing accomplishment of 2014? Is it “repetition”? “Practice”? “Discipline”? Another word?

Could it be “mastery”? In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, he posits true mastery takes 10,000 repetitions—think your favorite Olympian, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Jordan. In Daniel Pink’s Drive he proposes that it is mastery that motivates we humans. We personally may not achieve mastery in the 10,000-times sense of it but we all have something we want to be better at.

When we have something that motivates us, the repetition, the practice, the discipline themselves pale against the achievement of it. We may not “like” the practice, though we might, but the anticipation of achieving our goal moves us through it.

That’s the kind of one thing I hope you chose for yourself in 2014.

Hey! Next week on Monday I’ll be announcing the winner of the $100US Amazon gift card celebrating my 100th blog post that day. Tell your buds to sign up over at

Giving away money is fun! February is shaping up to be a fun month for me in other ways, too. I am participating as a speaker in the Life Changing Conference being held in Bryan/College Station, Texas, on 5 February. If you or someone you know is ready for this conference, contact me for tickets. It’s mere $25 for two women. You can reply to this email or call me at 979 574 3881.

I am teaching a session on “The Language of Leadership” as part of another conference that week. I am conducting group training later in February using “The Passion Test” as the tool of self-discovery. I’ve turned “One Thing 2014” into a short talk that is resonating with groups large and small.

I love helping others, supporting them in the achievement of their goals, their dreams, becoming their best self. Let me know how I can support you.