Uncover Your Potential Zone

I shared in a recent post, that Jon Acuff came out with a new book called All It Takes Is a Goal. He’s also the author of Soundtracks, which is one of my favorite books, so of course I had to read this one immediately. I shared in the last post about how to build your best moments list. If you haven’t checked that one out yet, go back and visit it before jumping into this one. I promise it will help.

Remember that this book is about the 3 step plan to ditch regret and tap into massive potential. That sounds great, right? But how does one do that?

Well, first you start with making your list. (See, I told you to go back and read that post first). From there, once you have your list and categorize it, then you focus on “The Zones”.

Jon describes three zones. First, is your Comfort Zone. This is the zone where you are content. But also, the zone where you’re not really growing or moving. It’s the status quo zone. The stagnant zone. The zone where fear gets in the way. It’s the safety zone.

Now, we’re going to skip past the second zone in the middle and move into the third zone. This is the Chaos Zone. I’m going to assume by the name you probably are already not interested in this zone. But, we all spend a lot more time here than we realize.

This is the “all” zone, while the Comfort Zone was the “nothing” zone. This is often how our brains work. We decide we’re going to move from complacency in an area of our lives to massive change. We decide to throw out every salted or sugared item in our pantry and go completely whole 30 or gluten or sugar free the next day. We decide that even though we haven’t run in approximately 3 years, that we’re going to start off by doing 2 miles tomorrow, and at least 3 or 4 later in the week. We move from the comfort zone where we’ve read a few pages of a book in the last few months to the chaos zone with a goal to read 52 or more books by the end of the year. We decide that instead of focusing on one goal over time, we’re going to be perfect at 4-5 new goals beginning next Monday.

If the Comfort Zone is speed 0, and the Choas Zone is speed 100, then what’s in the middle?

I’m so glad you asked.

That’s the Potential Zone. This is speed 1 – 99. This is not an all zone or a nothing zone. It’s a something zone.

This is where rather than going from carbs and sugar to Whole 30, we decide to just drink more water, or add in 1 extra serving of veggies a day. This is the zone where instead of couch to 5K+ in a week, we decide to go from couch to doing some walks with our dog and maybe adding in a few minutes of running as we build up our stamina. This is where instead of going from a few pages to 52 books, we decide we’re going to read 1 chapter in a book each week.

The Potential Zone is where we want to be. While the Comfort Zone feels cozy, and the Chaos Zone seems ideal, neither are a realistic place to live.

So how do we move from Chaos to Potential or from Comfort to Potential?

First, we recognize we aren’t going to change our entire life over night or even in one week. We recognize that slow and consistent progress gets far better results than a race to perfection. Then, we begin with small but achievable steps and build on them over time (I’ll talk about this more in next week’s post). And then, we must recognize that consistency compounds and that even imperfect progress is still progress.

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