Fred, a long-time acquaintance, told me he credited The Habit of Doing One More with changing his life in ways he never imagined possible.
He first learned of The Habit of Doing One More from his high school football coach who drilled this habit into the minds of those young players at every practice. Whatever drill was in play he always insisted on “just one more” before moving on to the next thing.
That was many years ago and Fred had long forgotten the remarkable gains to be had by just doing one more.
Thirty years passed since his last football practice and Fred’s weight had grown by approximately 5 pounds for each of those years. He reached the point where everything was difficult and painful and his family doctor informed him that, based on family history, continuing his current lifestyle would almost assuredly land him in a hospital or, worse, a grave.
At age 47 Fred came to the sad realization that massive change in his lifestyle was no longer optional. He committed to walking at least 20 minutes a day and quickly learned, to his horror, that walking once around the entire block where he lived left him fatigued and breathless.
By the third or fourth day as he was completing his walk and was just about to enter his home, Coach Joel’s voice bounded into his head urging him to do “just one more.”
Fred was exhausted and his legs felt as if they were on fire and yet the moment he heard Coach Joel’s voice the memories of those glory football days flooded through him and, as dead tired as he felt, he forced himself to walk around the block one more time.
And thus was born a new habit. As the days turn into weeks and then into months Fred set out each day on his walk, increasing the distance every few days.
And regardless of how far he had walked, even after his daily outing was exceeding 5 miles, he would, upon his return, do just one more around the block for Coach Joel.
At the same time, he began a disciplined eating routine. Initially he committed to following that program for three weeks before allowing himself a few days reprieve while simultaneously treating himself to some of his old favourites.
Strangely though, at the end of the first three weeks as he was contemplating how best to reward himself for a job well done he once again heard Coach Joel’s voice reminding him to do just one more.
And so he decided to stay on the program for one more week and yet somehow at the end of that week he convinced himself to do one more week and then one more week and, in between doing one more week and walking around the block one more time, he also pushed himself to do one more of everything else he was doing.
Nine months after he began Fred stepped on a scale and discovered, to his delight, that The Habit of Doing One More had greatly assisted him in removing just under 120 pounds from his frame.
And he felt fantastic and energetic and healthy and, in his own words, “my coat was shining for the first time in years.”
Since then Fred has adopted The Habit of Doing One More into everything he does. When a customer turns him down he never leaves without making one more attempt to close the sale.
When negotiating over the price of a new car his “one more offer” allowed him to save an additional $1200 off the price, and whenever he is in disagreement or at odds with anyone he always makes one more attempt at reconciliation.
Fred chuckles as he tells of how The Habit of Doing One More extended into spending a little more time – one extra minute twice a day – brushing his teeth and how this activity translated in into his dentist complimenting him on his dental health.
It may not seem like much to do “just one more,” but Fred is an enthusiastic advocate for what he describes as something that takes so little time and produces such enormous benefits.
Perhaps we should all consider gift wrapping The Habit of Doing One More and presenting it to ourselves on Christmas morning.
It may well turn out to be the most valuable gift we have ever received.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.