What is your One Thing?

I was recently talking with the Transformative Principal Podcast host Jethro Jones and he recommended reading The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller. He recommended that I read The One Thing to help me personally and professionally. I am very grateful for his recommendation!

Personally, the One Thing requires you to answer a seemingly easy question, “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” The beauty of this question is that it is not very easy. Thankfully, the book assists you with a process of determining that One Thing and then putting it into motion.

For me, I analyzed my morning routine. I have been keeping a Gratitude Journal and mediating for about a year and a half. This routine has helped me in many ways and I have been very dedicated to keeping this going. According to Gary Keller, it takes about 66 days to create and implement new habits. Here I thought I was being disciplined, but if you read the One Thing you will learn that discipline is a bit of a myth. In all honesty I had one thing going but what was leading up to that one thing (the Gratitude Journal/Mediation) was not helping.

Like many people today, when I woke up I was immediately going on my phone. At first it was to check some messages and then 30 minutes later I have checked email, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Then I would be rushing to get into the shower and afterwards speeding through my Gratitude/Mediation. This was not working for me.

What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

I decided to cut out my phone from the morning routine and get out the door for a walk. I love walking (really wish I could run but that is another story) and I felt that if I got out of the door and started walking everything else would be easier. I wouldn’t end the day looking at my step count only to be disappointed. I wouldn’t waste time in the morning on the various social media apps. I would have already accomplished something and that would make everything else easier and unnecessary.

I am only a few days into implementing the One Thing in my personal life. I have many days to go to get to the “sweet spot” of 66 days. Yet, I can already see changes!

Professionally, I implemented the One Thing into our School Improvement Plan for next year. I will be following up on a post about this shortly. In the meantime, be sure to check out the One Thing and be ready to get extraordinary results!

Spike Cook, Ed.D., Principal, Lakeside Middle School, Millville, NJ. In addition to being a Principal, Dr. Cook published two books through Corwin Press (Connected Leadership:It’s Just a Click Away; Breaking Out of Isolation: Becoming a Connected School Leader). He is the co-host of the popular PrincipaPLN podcast and his blog, Insights Into Learning, was recognized as a finalist for Best Administrator Blog by the EduBlog Awards. Spike earned his Doctorate from Rowan University and is featured in their Alumni Spotlight. Connect with @drspikecook via Twitter.