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Should You Target the Minimum? | Scott H Young

When to Target the Average

Focusing on the average makes sense when you're hoping to sustain something, even if it is not always a perfectly easy and consistent output.

It works when you are already putting in a bit of effort, but want to improve that effort over the long-term.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Should You Target the Minimum? | Scott H Young

Should You Target the Minimum? | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2019/02/13/min-avg-max/

scotthyoung.com

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Key Ideas

Ways to improve your life

There are a few different ways you can go about setting a goal or creating a new habit.

  • Target the minimum output. You focus on always doing at least a little bit so that over time, you do enough to make it count.
  • Target the average output. You focus on setting a goal you won't always achieve, but if you do, you'll end up making a big difference.
  • Target the maximum output. You invest your energy in targeting a specific, intense threshold that will pull you to a new level. 

When to Focus on the Minimum

Minimum targeting works well for establishing long-term habits.

A goal of, for instance, doing fifty push-ups every day might not be ideal for fitness, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

Another reason to focus on the minimum is that it assumes the difficulty is in starting. To start a process can often be the hardest. Then you want to set a lower threshold to make starting as easy as possible.

When to Target the Average

Focusing on the average makes sense when you're hoping to sustain something, even if it is not always a perfectly easy and consistent output.

It works when you are already putting in a bit of effort, but want to improve that effort over the long-term.

When to Focus on the Maximum

When you focus on the maximum, you can expand your potential. It requires deliberate practice with a high focus on quality, focusing on specific aspects of performance with clear feedback.

Bursts of high intensity are not sustainable long-term. Maximum-targeting works well when there is an efficiency gain for reaching higher levels. Once the burst has finished, you move to average or minimum-targeted goals.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Goal-Setting

Any goal or project will usually have these basic qualities:

  • A general ambition or motivation. (e.g. learn French)
  • A specific target. (e.g.  speak fluently)

Goals To Start In The Middle

When a goal has high uncertainty as to what level is achievable to reach within a particular time-frame, it is better to set specific targets in the middle of the process.

Plan your goals with the variables you do have: overall direction, time-frame, level of effort and strategies.

Reasons To Postpone Goal-Setting

  • Uncertain goals should be set in the middle. This will enable you to set the correct challenge level to maximize effort.
  • Some research shows that for very complex tasks, goal-setting can hinder effectiveness. This is because complex tasks are cognitively demanding in the beginning and can be frustrating because you can't perform adequately. To add on more tasks can impair your performance.

one more idea

The 2 ways you can approach your habits: Progressive and Consistent

  • Progressive. You start off easy, make it a little bit harder each time, until you eventually do very difficult things, with a lot less effort.
  • Consistent. Do the same...

Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less st...

Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less stable, but offer higher growth. Consistent habits offer lower growth, but are more stable.

When you set up a progressive habit, you’re on a path to improvement

Small, incremental adjustments in difficulty are almost certain to push your level up. The downside with progressive habits is that they are harder to sustain.

one more idea

Hitting the efficient point is important

Too little effort and you may never see results (or too slowly to notice). Too much effort and you may burnout long before any permanent progress has been made. 

Apply the Overkill Strategy to Solve Your Toughest Problems

1. Pick the goal you’re working on.

2. Choose a level of intensity that is at or near your maximum.

3. When you see results, ease back in a controlled fashion.