Test Yourself Before You Rest Yourself

January 14, 2014 by John Andrew Williams

Thought of the Day: What’s your test run?

Nearly every goal worth achieving comes at some cost. Time or energy or resources that we have to pay in order to get what we want. Setting up a test run helps you address the ultimate question:

Is it worth it?

And it’s a big question. Most of the time the answer is yes, but sometimes the goal seems better in my mind than it actually plays out in reality. So I’ve developed a little structure called ‘test-run’ to see if the goal in the long-term is actually worth it.

Seth Godin in The Dip writes that the best time to quit something is before you start it. That way you save your resources and time and spend that time doing something else that would be worth it.

I totally agree.

The second best time to quit is a predetermined time when you know that the experience is not going the way that you want it to go and it’s time to cut bait.

Having a predetermined time and conditions to quit are essential, and helpful, to understanding if you’re truly in it for the long-run.

Combine this idea with the Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, and viola! You’ve the core ideas of putting together a way to test-run your plan.

Here’s how test-run works: you choose a small amount of time to run your experiment – let’s say you want to stop drinking coffee – and you come up with the plan of weaning yourself then going without it for a week. A week is a great time to test-run an idea.

Here’s why a test-run works so well: you can approach your goal and plan with curiosity and look for ways to make it better, leaving judgement or feeling bad that it didn’t work aside.

The trick is to design mini-project to test.

Take the larger look at your vision. What would you want to tweak? What would you want to test?

Can you really get up at 6am in the morning for a week to get to the gym? What would it feel like on Friday?

What’s your test run this week? Worth it to continue?

Also read: What is Your Hope Narrative?

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