Repetition is the mother of a skill? Well, yes. But whether you develop a good or bad skill will be all about your “REPS.”
Last week my oldest daughter “forgot” one of her school assignments and as a result was forced to complete it last minute. This memory lapse led to a late-night scramble which caused stress and cost sleep.
What could have been a bad situation, however, was a teaching moment. For both of us.
Instead of harping on how “prior proper planning prevents poor performance,” I made a powerful point using a concept with which we were both familiar, “Good Reps.”
In the gym, my daughter and I have had the luxury to work together for a long time. Although she is only 15, she has almost 14 years in or around the gym. Of the many things she has learned, she not only knows the difference between a good and bad rep, but also the potential consequences of both.
I can remember we would watch videos of certain lifts to make sure she used good form. I will never forget the pride (and laughter) when she watched a powerlifting meet with me and would be happy to announce when a lifter didn’t “make” a lift due to executing a “bad rep.” Because I knew she had an awareness that a bad rep could cost you either a championship or your health, her homework mishap was my chance to coach her like this:
After this quick discussion her work has not gone overlooked and she has gotten to bed at a better time. She recognized, addressed and corrected the “bad rep.”
Although you may also find it easy to recognize bad reps in the gym (quarter squats, rounded-back deadlifts, or bouncing bench press) or at the dinner table (fast food, fried food, or processed food) there are major bad reps that occur in other parts of life. For instance, if you spend time during the day laughing at someone else’s misfortune on a “gym fail video” or while gossiping, you are actually executing some “bad reps” that are harder to see (Number 2 and 4 below.)
Yes, some repetitive behaviors like smoking or texting and driving are obvious, but here is a list of 5 “bad reps” that are harder to see, but easy to do:
Time is your most precious commodity. When you are late, you are disrespecting someone else’s time. Every time you miss being “on time,” it is like another bad rep in the gym adding up in other areas of your life.
To succeed in work or your health, there has to be attention to detail. In order for that to occur you must remove distraction. Phones, internet, and pointless conversations that interrupt you from getting to your goals are all bad reps.
Going through the motions and doing the minimum to scrape by in life is like paying the minimum balance on your credit card: it only leads to more things you owe. Low effort in the gym or workplace are bad reps that cost you results.
You have a choice how to respond to situations: positive or negative. Negative responses and spending your time with negative people discussing negative topics are bad reps that can hurt both your career and health.
Making commitments you can’t keep is a fast track to destroying trust. It only takes a few bad reps of letting people down to ruin that trust forever.
The simple program to fix a bad rep is to recognize the behavior, correct the behavior, re-evaluate and then repeat if necessary. By making you recognize the bad reps and their consequences, you now have both the awareness and impetus to remove them from your life. By taking corrective action on the bad reps above, you can eventually turn those 5 bad reps into their good rep counterparts below. Become known for the 5 traits below and your life is guaranteed to improve:
I hope this good rep/bad rep philosophy gets you to look more closely at your day. More importantly, if you find you have some bad reps to correct, take action! Whether you choose to take action on your exercise, diet or the bad reps above, here is the big message:
Doing something over and over doesn’t mean you are going to improve. In order to improve your life, you are going to need “good reps.” Every day you are in the gym of life. With your work, health, relationships, and money you have the chance and choice to do either good or bad reps. Your life will be the eventual product of all those reps added together.
They all count so choose wisely.