Most of us, no matter who we are or what we do, desire to see improvement and growth in some area of our life. However, what we do not usually desire is the work that is often required to improve our performance.
Why is this? Because work is hard, and personal growth usually involves doing something that takes us out of our comfort zone. It requires us to be challenged and stretched. As a result, it’s usually easier to just stay where we are. Where it’s comfortable. Where it’s familiar.
The underlying problem is that we do not have a system for improvement, and as a result we often approach change in more of a haphazard fashion that causes inconsistency, frustration, and ultimately stagnation. The key to overcoming this lack of structure is to have a process that can be replicated with ease, regardless of the situation.
In this post I will share with you a simple process for improving your performance, no matter who you are or what you do. I call it the 3A Model for Performance Improvement. The three-step model can be applied to any area of your life—personal, professional, financial, physical, relational, etc. Here is a summary:
STEP 1: ASSESS
First, evaluate your current situation and where you are now. What is working well? What is not working? Where are your deficiencies? What are your goals, and where are you in relation to those goals? This part of the process involves asking a lot of questions and looking inward.
STEP 2: ADJUST
Next, you need to decide what must change if you are going to improve your current situation and overcome any challenges. What will it take to get you from where you are now to where you want to be long-term? What areas do you need to focus on most in order to effect lasting and meaningful change?
STEP 3: ACT
Last, you must execute by taking decisive action. This is the stage where most people struggle because, although they know what needs to be done, they fail to have the discipline to act. The ability to consistently and decisively take action is what separates the winners from the losers and the great from the good. What are the most important steps that you can take right now to move yourself forward toward your goals? Maybe it’s just one or two steps—that’s fine; you have to start somewhere. Focus on a few small, fundamental steps and build upon those.
The best way to visualize this process is to think about halftime during a football game. What happens during halftime?
Teams assess the first half and identify what is and is not working. Then they make adjustments to their game plan and decide what they must change in the second half if they are going to win the game. Finally, they leave the locker room and execute the game plan on the field.
Our lives are the same way. Every day, we have the opportunity to pause and evaluate, to make the necessary changes, and to take action to implement those changes.
The question is whether or not we have the lasting desire to improve and the daily discipline to do what it takes in order to make our goals become reality.