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  • Doug Morris

If Covey was a Triathlete with 7 Habits

Updated: Aug 25, 2018

Do you know what the habits of triathloning would look like if Stephen R. Covey was a triathlete?

Bike Leg in IM Idaho
Doug Morris biking in Ironman CDA

With inspiration from his multi-million selling self-help book classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there are beneficial returns of time investments by applying his business philosophy to the sport of triathloning.

#1 -- Be Proactive

Do before being directed. Assume nothing but responsibility. Make choices instead of wishes. Learn to be a triathlete.

#2 -- Begin with the End in Mind

Destination unknown is not an actual finishing line location. Commit to your end point, milestones along the journey, and skillsets needed to complete the journey. Maybe think geographical: local races, regional championships, Nationals, or maybe the end state of international racing. Maybe you think in terms of speed. Decide to go fast with a sprint distance triathlon or fastest as part of a relay leg. If you think in distances: set goals of sprint, Olympic, half, then full. Or maybe you think in terms of things like a pool, lake, then ocean or even flats, rolling/undulating landscapes or bad ass big climbs. No matter how you think, determine your end in mind. Put in writing your personalized triathlon mission in how to start including specific milestones along your journey.

#3 – Put First Things First

Swim, bike, and run competition comes after sign-ups, training, and toeing the starting line. Evaluate your “Bonds of Performance” to align with the importance of training preparation activities to achieve your triathlon mission. (Palm Trees Ahead coaches can analyze your performance gaps).

#4 – Think Win-Win

Racing sustainability continues because racers support their family, volunteers, race officials, sponsors, equipment suppliers, service providers, and even their toughest competition. Know the specific people who make up your support structure. Fulfillment and personal bests are wins even if you don’t cross the line first. Remember, you only win if they win too!

#5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Learn the disciplines of the sport, the tactics of the competitors, and the uniqueness of the races. Let your performance and respect of the sport speak for yourself. Your metrics of your targets provide common understanding. Expressing gratitude of others’ performance when understanding the longevity of the sport is beneficial too.

#6 – Synergize

Get a coach. Leverage knowledge of family, sport, and work skillsets across your personal silos. Join a team. Raise the level of all swimmers, bikers, and runners for the betterment of the sport.

#7 – Sharpen the Saw

Pursue your life’s continued education in family, social, work, and sports environments. Enhance your life’s performance by adopting polarity management. Be a learn-it-all triathlete, not a know-it-all participant. Acknowledge that life’s graduation day is the ultimate day of reckoning.

And for a bonus, from his follow-up book, The 8th Habit:

#8 – Finding Your Voice, Inspiring others to find their voice.

Be a contributor. Be a leader, a mentor, and a triathlon ambassador so generations of learners for years to come will continue to teach the world to tri.

During your next workout, think about these eight habits and what you could adopt to improve your race results for 2018 and beyond.

Did you channel any of the habits to better race results in 2017? Let us know here at Palm Trees Ahead of any specific races or seasons that you implemented these habits into your training and racing endeavors.

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