Mark Allen on how COVID taught him to enjoy life’s small victories

Mark Allen is used to big goals and even bigger victories. Six times the American triathlon legend took on the world and prevailed on the ‘Big Island’. But as 2022 begins he has a message for us all to live by. Enjoy the small things…

New Year really is a time of reflection. It feels for me like it’s a chance to actually do things differently or do new things or just take the pieces that I have in my life that I have a hard thing doing, and doing them a little better with a little more ease and more grace, less resistance.

A lot of times I think ‘what are the things I want to accomplish in this upcoming year?’ and I realise it’s not those end results that really inspire me each and every day. It’s not saying I want to win a race or do something big in my business.

Time to enjoy the process

It’s more, in 2022 anyway, the real resolution that I’ve made is to just make the process of moving towards those goals have more meaning and have more fulfilment, and to be aware of the small daily successes.

I think that came out of COVID, as we are still in it, we had a lot of time where the big goals were kind of wiped off the map. People couldn’t race, you couldn’t go to work, there were a lot of things, that when you put those little foundational steps in place, they end up resulting in something really big.

I realised during COVID, and as I go into 2022, I really want to make each and every day have something that counts, having something that has meaning. Do my work in a way that has less resistance.

That means if there’s something that I know that needs to be done, have less time between that realisation and when I actually get out and take care of it. Have those little small daily successes. The little ‘to do list’, that ‘I got it done today’. That’s a good thing.

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Also taking care of my physical health, that means getting enough sleep. making sure I do spend time exercising. Just eating really well.

Very simple stuff, so that at the end of the day I go: ‘Hey that was a success, took care of myself, my work, my family and friends and I just appreciated life’. Doing things in a way that each and every day is fulfilling, satisfying, has meaning.

If we have a big goal that we’re going toward – let’s pick one that a lot of people might be able to relate to – you want to lose some weight. How do you do that? A little bit each day. A little by little adds up to a lot and so when you maybe hit a goal you’ve worked for, whether it’s losing weight or crafting a work project, when you get there there it is satisfying.

But ultimately it’s all those thousands of steps that led to it, that really have the deep fulfilment. Those are the pieces that fundamentally change who we are. It’s not that outcome, it’s that process that got us there.

A motto to live by in 2022

So that’s what 2022 is going to be dedicated to from my side. Small, simple steps each and every day that are fulfilling – that may or may not result in those big things. I hope they do, but if they don’t, at least I know I will have tried.

I want to have less of those ‘I can’t’ moments and turn those into ‘I can’.

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