How to Get Better Results in Almost Anything

goals Jan 12, 2017

Last week, I read an article about an art teacher who decided to do an experiment with his ceramics students.

To one half of the class, he said, “This semester, you only need to turn in one pot. It should be as close to perfect as possible, but I only want to see one.”

To the other half, he said, “I want you to turn in as much pottery as possible. I’ll weigh what you hand in, and if it’s over 50 pounds, you get an A. If it’s over 40 pounds, you get a B. And so on.”

The students worked on their pots, and at the end of the semester, the results were clear: the best pieces came from the group that was graded on quantity. The students who were instructed to make as much as possible ended up producing the highest quality.

I thought, that’s so fitting for this time of year, when we’re focused on our New Year’s Resolutions.

Sometimes, we get really dogmatic about our plans. “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to get stronger.” “I’m going to eat healthy.” And we come up with some great ways to do that – we buy gym memberships, we sign up for 5K’s, we read nutrition blogs. And those can all be good means to achieve our goals. But what if we aimed for quantity, instead of focusing on only one thing?

My husband Stephen is a great example of this. The other day, he came into my office and said he was going home to workout.

“Oh, you’re not going to the pool?” I said. I was surprised because he’d decided he was going to swim as his way of staying in shape.

“Nah,” he said. “I don’t feel like getting wet right now. I think instead of trying to swim every day, I’m going to do what feels good, for as long as I can.”

Stephen often surprises me with his insights, and this time was no exception. As he left, I thought, how cool that he can be so free about keeping his resolution. He’s not fixating on one method of working out – because of course, there are a thousand ways!

While focus and discipline are necessary to reach goals, it’s also important to stay open. As the saying goes, “Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods.”

Both Stephen, and the students who were graded on quantity, were able to keep their possibilities open. Instead of focusing on one perfect thing, they expanded their methods. They freed themselves to follow the flow, to do what made them happy in the moment.

What about you? What if you were to follow the flow, as you work toward your goal?

What if it’s possible to get there through many different ways, not just one? What would you do?

If you’re having trouble coming up with answers, check out my latest Moti Minute. It’s specifically designed to help you tap your body intelligence, so you can expand the possibilities. You’ll get both your ideas, and your blood, moving. And it only takes a minute!

Share the ideas you come up with below – I love hearing all the ways people are working on their goals.

Go out and shine.

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

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