20 March 2019

Lawrence Jones MBE and cyclist Chris Boardman - Marginal gains and sweating the small stuff

WIth Chris recording the Mind Your Own Business podcast.

How often do you hear the phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’?

It seems to have become a motivational quote these days but is it really the right approach? Invariably it is the ‘small stuff’ that builds into the big stuff!

For example, do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut making no progress? We all do! It’s inevitable. But when you really look at what you’re doing, I can guarantee that somewhere you are moving forward, you’re making small changes. It is these tiny, incremental steps and shifts that build into big transformations and leaps forward.

I recently spoke with British gold-medal-winning cyclist Chris Boardman to record an episode of the Mind Your Own Business podcast and he highlighted the real importance of focussing on the tiny changes that you can make each day.

Marginal gains

Having won the first Olympic gold for Britain in 72 years, Chris also smashed three world records. Following his career competing, Chris joined the British Cycling team. His role was Head of Stuff. His challenge was to improve the performance of the team by looking outside of the traditional box. He looked at helmets, wheels, the outfit riders wore, the way they positioned themselves on the bike.

This role took him to researching aerodynamics, making the realisation that a tiny change to reduce air resistance has a huge impact on the overall results. It was these changes that saw British Cycling dominating the competition under Sir David Brailsford along with Sir David’s philosophy of marginal gains.

It’s fascinating to hear from someone who was a part of the process that really highlights the importance of these marginal gains and the extraordinary impact they can have.

It is worth remembering this the next time that you feel that you’re stuck in a rut with your goals. Progress rarely happens as a flood, it’s more of a drip at a time, as frustrating as that is!

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