How Far Will Little Extra Efforts Take You?

I grew up in a sporting family. Well, an Aussie-Rules-following family actually. My dad was an Aussie Rules Boundary Umpire so if there was footy on TV, if you wanted to watch TV,that was it. So even as a child, it didn’t take long to pick up the lingo and pretty early on, I knew about the One Percenters.

A phrase coined by Aussie Rules Football (according to Wikipedia) the One Percenters are the “little extra efforts” which often go unrewarded or unnoticed and whilst they may not individually affect the outcome of the game or the performance of an individual, collectively they can.

The One Percenters are not just limited to Aussie Rules. Whether it’s individually or as a team, taking the time to do that extra little bit in preparation or on game day can make a huge difference in the long run.

So what am I talking about? Well in the sporting world, it’s little things like stretching or warming down after a training session or game when you’d really rather just hit the showers and go home.

It’s having an ice bath before you hit the showers to help with recovery.

It’s going for a massage during the week to make sure your muscles are supple and flexible come game day. It’s doing a yoga or pilates class to improve your flexibility.

It’s going to the physio when you get injured rather than carry an injury for 5-6 weeks before doing something about it.

It’s about eating healthy meals, preparing healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so that you don’t make poor choices when you get home late and hungry and just need to eat.

It’s about watching your alcohol intake so you don’t wake up the morning after a game celebration with a hangover that lasts for 2 days.

It’s taking time for rest and recovery – good sleep hygiene and plenty of it!

In his book, “Awaken The Giant Within”, Tony Robbins calls it “CANI” – Constant And Never-ending Improvement and implies that it should be applied to every aspect of our lives – business, personal relationships, spiritual connection, finances and health.

Still don’t believe these little improvements can make a difference?

Consider the story of the stonemason, charged with breaking open a giant boulder. Taking a huge hammer and chisel, he strikes the boulder as hard as he can. As you can expect, nothing happens. He hits it again and again – 100, 200, 300 times and still not a scratch or dent. Passersby laugh at what appears to be his fruitless efforts but still he persists, hitting the boulder again and again at different points on the surface, despite not seeing the progress he is making. But the stonemason knows that deep down below he is making progress. At some point, after maybe the 700th or the 900th hit, or even the 1500th hit, the stone literally breaks in half. Of course it wasn’t the last strike that made the difference, it was the constant and continual application of effort that caused the boulder to split in two.

Improving your health is a bit like working on that giant boulder, you need to chip away at it bit by bit. You won’t always see what is happening beneath the surface but trust in the process and commit to consistently applying yourself to regular movement, eating healthy, getting lots of good quality sleep and drinking 30% of your body weight in water every day.

Now you don’t have to be a professional athlete or a stonemason to benefit from the One Percenters! When it comes to your health, many of the actions of athletes apply equally if you want to get the most out of your body and have the energy to get through your day.

When it comes to your health, the One Percenters can also include

  • Getting off the bus 1 or 2 stops earlier and walking the rest of the way
  • Getting up 15 minutes early and stretching to start your day
  • Going to bed 30 minutes earlier (or around 10pm)
  • Drinking a glass of water between every alcoholic drink
  • Eating before heading out to that networking event or party when you know the food is not going to be the healthiest for you
  • Snacking on fruit or yoghurt instead of chocolate, biscuits or cake
  • Making your own cakes and biscuits so you can control the amount of sugar in the recipe
  • Drinking water instead of coke and soft drinks (even the diet ones)
  • Asking for your dressing on the side when eating out so that you can control how much of it you consume

So if you’re feeling like progress is going a little slow or you’re not getting results fast enough, include these One Percenters in your healthy lifestyle to give your results an extra boost.

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