At the start of 2014 I was struggling to walk as a protruding disc in my spine made life extremely painful. There were times I would have to crawl around on all fours for a week as the pain was that bad. Before this, I was a cyclist. I cycled on and off since I was a young teenager. For years my back was painful but my passion for cycling overcame the daily agony. After another bout of crippling joy, I decided it was time to stop. I couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't yet 40 but I was feeling like I was 80. I had spent close to a decade putting up with this. My health wasn't going forward, it was only going back. It seriously took a lot of strength to give the sport away. The sport where I had met most of my good friends, and one I was competitive at.
I was then lost. I sat around for a few months. I started to get fat as we headed into winter. A very close friend told me I had to do something, and I agreed. I was always active and fit. She knew I was a swimmer as a kid so suggested I get back in the pool. Pretty much everyone who has been a swimmer as a kid cannot contemplate the thought of following a black line again. I struggled to get my mind around the idea of lap after lap after lap and the seemingly mindlessness than comes with it.
After 12months of swimming, my back feels the best it has for more than a decade. I want to stop halfway through each and every session because it is hard, but I never allow myself to. I don't want to start a bad habit. Every lap is meditative. I focus on every single stroke, hand, arm, body position. I focus on the lap, the set, the session. Each session builds me to be stronger and faster. I race now and my perseverance has set me up to be competitive.
The thing I love about competitive swimming is that there is a massive correlation to business strategy. My focus is on National Masters Titles in 2016. The next 12months is broken into 4 quarters of which each has a particular focus. Each quarter is broken into a month, a week, a session, a set, a lap, each stroke I take. Wanting to be competitive at National Titles can seem daunting when my times are great yet. But focusing on each stroke is easy. I can achieve that. Breaking my year into easily achievable blocks makes National Titles a process. I just need to stick to the strategy.
The same with business strategy. If you have your vision or BHAG, you have something to aim for but also something that can seem impossible to reach. Set your 3-5year goal, what do you need to do over the next year to ensure you're on the right path? What do you need to do this quarter? What do you need to do this month? What do you need to do this week? What do you need to do today to ensure you will meet your 3-5 year goal?
You know where you want to be in 1 years time. Each year is made up of days. What do you need to do today?