If you don’t know who Stephen Covey is I highly suggest you check him out- he has written an immense amount of information about leadership and performance and personally I am a huge fan. He takes really complex and detailed concepts and makes them simple and easy to utilize. He wrote “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and the first principle of that book was so critical that he created a whole book about it. Covey’s first principle is, first things first.
First things first, sounds like a simple principle to apply. You make a list and you put the most important thing at the top and you do it. However, Covey digs deep into this principle and guides readers to practice self-awareness as they evaluate their personal vision, dreams, priorities, values, and motivations. He makes it so clear that if we are not self-aware of those things for ourself than we will be ineffective in achieving them. He also makes it clear that being clear in those things and taking actions towards them daily will bring us the happiness and life we want.
When I think about this principle and apply it to my life it has been a huge catalyst for growth and direction. When applying it to CrossFit it is equally as useful and beneficial. When we think in terms of CrossFit and utilizing the ‘first things first’ mentality it should throw each of us into a self-reflective mode to ask a few questions.
-What are my goals?
-Why do I want to achieve these things?
-How do these align with my values and priorities in life?
If you can answer them you can go about creating a really direct growth plan for yourself inside the walls of CrossFit Bear. I think many people start CrossFit and want to get a pull-up and then after that it is everyone’s desire to get that muscle-up. If your goal is a certain skill or movement and your why is self-driven (meaning you want to achieve this for you, not for extrinsic factors) then you have to evaluate how attaining and working towards this skill fits into your life priorities.
Maybe you can give each week an extra 20 minutes on skill work but any more than that negatively affects your family balance and your work schedule. While some view this negatively and may say, “Well I guess I just don’t have time to work on this stuff, I’ll never get those cool muscle-ups.” The truth is 20 minutes can be a lot of time if utilized correctly.
Your skill day may be Wednesday- so every Wednesday after class you do a 5 minute EMOM of strict pull-ups, followed by 3×8 muscle-up transition drills on the rings, and end that 20 minutes with a 5 minute EMOM of strict dips and ring holds. I guarantee you that attacking that every Wednesday will pay off and it’s only 20 minutes. You can always check in with a coach and get a new drill or get a new strength movement based on your progress, but by putting first things first you’ll take steps every day to attain what you want.
First Things First isn’t about dropping everything else in life- it’s about really digging into what you want in your life and identifying a plan and obtaining it. It’s about identifying what is an opportunity and what is just fancy convenient noise distracting you from what you really want out of life.