The Big Picture by Tony Horton (12/365)

Welcome to day 12 of my Level Up Challenge.

The Big Picture by Tony Horton

So, who is Tony Horton and why should we pay attention to what he has to say?

Well, first up, take a good look at this guy. He’s 57 years old. How about that? He has a body that most 20 year olds would die for.

So, how did he do it? Well, you might know Tony from P90X or Insanity workouts – through the DVDs or on Youtube. He’s that crazy American trainer who makes tough workouts fun for everybody from those trying to lose a few pounds to elite athletes.

The strapline of The Big Picture is “The 11 Laws that will Change Your Life” and while most of the advice is straightforward and, to be honest, quite basic, one Law, one chapter was a standout for me. That’s the Chapter on Consistency.

Working out 7 days a week is easier than 3 or 4

Before the Big Picture, I worked out anywhere between 2 and 4 times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Always a struggle to dig deep and find the motivation. Always a battle between the two “me’s” – one who wants to stay a little longer on the computer or in bed, and the other reminding me of my fitness goals – whether that’s the Ironman triathlon or just staying healthy.

When I read the Big Picture, however, something clicked which changed my attitude towards both working out and business. Consistency. You see, as Tony says, it’s easier to work out 7 times a week than 2,3 or 4. Why? When working out becomes a decision, the “stay in bed” me gets a chance to have his say, and he sometimes wins. When you workout every day, “stay in bed” me doesn’t get a look in. You take the decision making out of your fitness regime.

When you have to decide whether to workout or not, you’re already wasting energy.

So, you might think, 7 days a week is a lot – how do you do it? Well, little and often. The hardest part about all of this is getting started. It’s putting on your gym gear or cycling clothes. Once you’ve done that, you have the momentum that makes things a lot easier.

These days, I work out 7 days a week, most weeks. Of course, it doesn’t always go to plan but that’s okay – I’m not a robot. And, I’ve found 7 days is much easier than 3 or 4. You avoid what Tony Horton calls “Exercise Bipolar Disorder” where you go from intense activity to none at all. It’s so much harder to get back to your workout after 2 or 3 days off.

To stay creative and motivated in business, plan to do the same thing every day

So, can you apply this concept of consistency to business?

Well, yes.

Before The Big Picture, like most entrepreneurs, I had a varied and scattered schedule. Every day different. What’s wrong with that, you might ask? You like variety after all.

Sure, we like variety but it’s no good having a varied routine when your energy is used up in the decision making process or kicking yourself in the pants for not doing what you said you were going to do today.

If you do the same thing at the same time every day, you take the decision making process out of your day. That leaves a lot of energy on the table for you to be creative.

So, this is what I’ve been doing, and it works. For example.
8 am – Cycle 1 hour
9 am – 11 am – Produce videos
12 – housekeeping
2pm – 4pm – Marketing

That’s just an example of how it could work. Variety comes within those segments. For example, the videos I produce every day or the marketing activities. Creativity, like variety, is good, but it needs a track to run on, otherwise, we end up flying off into the unknown, getting lost and becoming inconsistent.

The Big Picture by Tony Horton – Summary

I only chose 1 law from Tony Horton’s 11 Laws in The Big Picture, but that’s how you have to read these kinds of books. Take what works for you and drop the rest. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book, it just means that you have to focus only on what could improve your life, business and fitness.

See you tomorrow for day 13.

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