This is Day 6 of my 7-Day series to kickstart your Chess Training. Each part stands on its own, but they are the most powerful if you read and apply all 7 days consecutively.
- Day 1 – The Chess Detox
- Day 2 – Mastering Mindset: Shift From Rating Goals to Skill Improvement
- Day 3 – Transforming Your Chess: The Power of Hard Training
- Day 4 – Strategic Chess Training: Maximize Impact With The 80/20 Principle
- Day 5 – Crafting Your Smart Winning Chess Plan
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear.
No matter how well you plan, some unexpected things will get in the way. Be it a busy week at work, sickness, or private problems. Life in 2024 won’t be smooth sailing either.
Sadly, I know this all too well. The most annoying and psychologically difficult point of a Traumatic Brain Injury is the randomness of the symptoms. I can have a great few days, followed by days where I can barely focus on small talk.
The only way to get through these periods is to:
1) Expect them
2) Prepare for them
What Could Mess Up Your Chess Routine?
Today, I invite you to think about possible problems that can mess up your chess routine. Some people have jobs where certain periods just are much more stressful.
Others have certain days that are prone to less motivation & concentration. No matter what might be a roadblock on your chess journey, you can only plan & prepare if you see it ahead.
Just like you can only avoid an opponent’s threat if you spot it before it is too late.
Action Step #1: Write down 3 likely things that can mess up your chess study routine.
For each of those things, now ask yourself:
- Can I make this less likely to disturb my chess routine?
- How can I spot this problem before it is too late?
For example, if you always have the most stressful work period in February, it would be smart to decrease the planned chess training that month. You can go as far as cutting back 80% of the training in those periods.
The key is to still follow a plan, even if it is way smaller. It is all about keeping a rhythm and creating a habit of planning and putting your plan into action.
How To Get Back On Track
Even by doing the steps above, you will face a time when you stop following a constructive chess study routine. It is ok. This shows you are human. But the key is to realize this quickly and to get back on track ASAP.
“The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.” – James Clear
I try to write a diary about my personal & business habits at least once a week. This way, I quickly realize when things go south, which is the first step to getting back on track.
I recommend you do the same. Make it a routine to think about how your chess study is going on a weekly basis. Already 5-10 minutes are enough to spot big problems, realize a hard week is coming up, or take some quick actions to get back on track.
As with the real chess study plan, this works best if you have a fixed time every week. Write it down. Notice your loved ones. Put it in your calendar.
Then, it is all about quick & small actions that lead you back on the right track.
- Start by doing a proper chess training session as soon as you realize you went off track. This can also be just 10 minutes of proper tactics solving.
- Once you finish, plan proper training for the next day. Again, it is not about recovering the “lost time” but rather simply getting back into a routine of doing things well.
- Use the newly gained motivation to again start out with a simple weekly plan. Even if you did 20 hours of training at some point, make sure to go back to a more reasonable amount of time and work yourself up.
Last but not least, learn from what just happened. Ask yourself: could I prevent this next time around?
Making mistakes is human and normal. What is not good is making the same mistakes over and over again. By asking this question, you learn from your past and have one more roadblock you can prepare for.
Want to read on? Part 7 – Real Chess Improvement Success Stories