It's Time to Get Your Mojo Back - And Sprints Are Better for You than Marathons

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

I am NOT a marathon runner. And running 26 miles is NOT on my bucket list.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the satisfaction of training for something this coveted. Putting that medal around your neck signals dedication, discipline and determination. The thing is I’ve always been wired for a different race – sprints.

I’m a huge fan of sprints—for work, hobbies, and even workouts. Sprints keep me engaged, excited about my work and full of anticipation. But so often in my conversations these days, people are still talking about their day-to-day as if they are training for a marathon.  They’re describing it as monotonous, predictable and dare I say it…boring. Our daily routines have become one of dragging ourselves out of bed…to kitchen for coffee…to home office for virtual calls…to living room for TV and back to bed again. When life becomes a zombie-walk, we lose so much. 

 But guess what? It really doesn’t have to be this way. You can rewire your norms. And one way I’ve done it is by becoming a master of the sprint.

So what is it and how does it work? A sprint is a short time period in which you go hard on a goal you truly want to achieve.  It’s a time where adrenaline flows through your veins as you gear yourself up for a hard yet rewarding effort that gets tangible results. It’s a time of high energy and high hopes!

 (And here’s the secret: you can complete a marathon without even realizing it if you just string a together bunch of sprints. – ha, the ole bait and switch.)

Here’s how a marathon made up of sprints happens: take your marathon goal. Maybe you want to write a book, which if you do – Bravo! Make a list of the things you have to accomplish to make that dream come true, and break it down into 7-day, 30-day, or 90-day sprint-sized blocks.  For example you may decide to write 5,000/words every day for 7 days.  Or dedicate 1 hour a day for the next 30 days on research for your topic.  Or complete your first draft in 90 days.  This is how a sprint works.  You resist the temptation of getting overwhelmed by the end result and focus on the series of micro actions instead. 

Sprints work in your daily schedule as well. I like to set up my day in 45-minute blocks, with 15-minute transition times.  I know I can go hard for 45 minutes, whether it’s a coaching session, filming videos or writing this article.

BONUS – Need a little extra challenge? Cut the time you set for your goals in half.  Yep, that’s right, cut your time in half for fun. Test your limits and find out exactly how much you can really accomplish! We often underestimate ourselves and go at the pace of the world around us when we can actually do more.  

I know we all slowed down in COVID, but it’s time to get your mojo back. A good sprint can get you back into the game. So line up in your starting block. The gun is about to go off. Is your goal in sight? Three, two, one—Let’s go!

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