Here we go…
I think most behavioral scientists will tell you the way to big change happens with tiny steps.
The reason most diets don’t work long-term is that dieters go from eating 5,000 calories a day to less than 1,000 – and they drastically up their exercise.
They feel motivated, and watching the pounds drop off fuels that discipline again tomorrow. Until…until hunger finally breaks their will.
Years ago, I suffered a back injury in a car accident that required lots of therapy. At one point, my therapist suggested I begin swimming to help in my recovery.
Your body weighs less in water, there’s less friction and so less chance for further injury. So I accepted the challenge.
The first day, it took me longer to get into the pool than I spent actually swimming. Because of pain, I couldn’t jump into the water, and it took forever to sit at the edge of the water and slip finally into it.
Day 1, I swam one length: 25 meters.
And the next morning, my arms and shoulders were so sore, I had trouble brushing my teeth.
Still, I went back to the club Day 2, determined to swim a lap – 2 lengths.
And ever after, I added one length every day. I swam at lunch time. I was not trying to swim fast. I was just determined to swim a tiny bit further — 25 meters — each day.
And I took no days off.
I ended up, months later, in the best shape of my life, swimming a mile and a half in 30 minutes, addicted to my daily swim.
So, how does this relate to your on-air work?
Give me ONE brilliant bit tomorrow. Just one. Focus all your talent on that one break.
Day two, give me TWO brilliant bits.
Be scrupulous. Be your own worst critic. Don’t get discouraged if you have to take a step back.
But never, ever do a full show without ONE BRILLIANT BIT.
Banish complacency. Banish fatigue and excuses and apathy.
You are an entertainer. Entertain me at least once today. And then once more tomorrow.
Tiny steps. Microsteps.
It’s the only way.