Why Small Rocks Matter, Too – And How to Master Them | Day 6


Let’s say you’ve got the basics covered – The BIG Rocks (I wrote a post on that here). What does this look like? consistent workouts, including strength training and cardio; a balanced, nutrient-dense diet including protein, veggies and a complex carb at every meal, 7-8 hours of sleep each night minimum; fairly low stress levels – 90% of what you need to succeed.

You could say things are going well – but they could be better. The question is, how much better? What could improve? How do you get that extra 10%? By mastering the small rocks.

What are the small rocks?

Small rocks are that extra 10%. The icing on the cake. The things that take you from GOOD to GREAT.

Focusing on fitness and health, these include:

  • Micronutrients in your diet
  • Nutrient timing
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Warmups, cool downs, mobility and core work in your workouts
  • Stretching, foam rolling, self-massage
  • Little hygienic things like flossing
  • A guided meditation or yoga class, every day or once a week
  • Additional relaxation/recovery, “me” time, and growth

The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” – Charles R. Swindoll

I keep a running log as part of my team, created by my coach. Each day, I jot down details about my run. I check off the boxes: Did I get in a post-run snack? Foam roll? Iron? Check. Check. Check… usually. It all seems okay, until I hit the yellow page. Every couple of weeks, there’s a set of check-in questions. It always includes this one: Are you doing ALL of the little things under your control?

The word “ALL” hits me like a brick. Because while I’m always taking care of the basics, am I going above and beyond? Am I taking care of ALL the little rocks, every extra %?

Questions pop up, like these: Have I done hurdle mobility drills and strides each day I set out for this week? Have I stretched sufficiently after each run? Have I taken my iron every day? Have I prioritized recovery as much as I could have? Often times, as much as I hate to admit, one or more of these is missing. And this is why I’m not quite where I want to be. Yet.

You see, the big rocks are essential, and when you’re just getting started, they will suffice. But they’ll only get you so far. The difference between the good athlete and the great athlete, the difference between first and second, the difference between reaching your base-level goal and your dream goal, comes down to the little rocks.

Before you go any further into examining the smaller rocks, revisit the big rocks. Make sure they are 100% covered. Once you have them down, it’s time to identify and check in with the small ones.

What are the little rocks that you can focus on this week? Subscribe to my email list to receive a worksheet that will help you cover them!

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