Today I want to share a method with you that can help you better understand your progress when you’re working towards a goal.
It’s called the Ratio of Three.
In December 2025, I’ll be rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
I’ll row out from La Gomera in the Canary Islands and make way for Antigua.
During that voyage, I’ll be rowing for 12 hours a day.
Two hours on, two hours off, each and every day until I get there.
How do you prepare for such a feat?
Well, I’ve broken it down into three areas that will hopefully deliver a strong performance:
All areas I am currently working on.
Whatever your goal, it’s natural to always want to see continuous improvement.
Whether you’re losing weight, gaining strength, or building wealth.
We all like to see the needle move and progressive gains made.
But life doesn’t take linear paths.
And I’ve been reminded of that this week.
Sometimes I approach a session and I feel physically OK but mentally tired.
Sometimes I’m up for the task but my body doesn’t feel great.
And yet, we judge our progress on the most recent and available information to hand.
At the end of last week, I shared in an Instagram post that training had gone really well.
But the week before, every session felt just OK. Which was disappointing.
When I told my friend, Conor, he sent me a link to a podcast.
The person featured in the podcast was Alexi Pappas who competed in the Rio Olympics in the 10,000m running event for Greece.
Her dream was to make the final. Which she did.
She shared the following idea:
“When you're chasing a dream, or you’re doing anything really hard, don’t expect to feel great all the time.
If you feel great most of the time, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. If you feel terrible most of the time, you’re pushing too hard and you’ll become fatigued.
In pursuit of your goals, what you should feel is great a third of the time, OK a third, and crappy for a third. That’s the optimal level of high performance.”
This is the Ratio of Three.
The more I thought about this, the more it made sense.
And not just in pursuit of physical goals.
How often do we want and expect our lives, relationships, and work life to be perfect?
We’re all in the pursuit of happiness.
But you can’t be happy all the time.
Unhappiness occurs when reality doesn’t meet expectation.
Expecting everything to always be great will only leave you feeling disillusioned and dissatisfied.
So, we have to adjust our expectations.
Take your wins, don’t panic if life is just OK, and know that, when things aren’t going well, better days are coming.
In pursuit of your dream, keep a little note of how you’re feeling and measure it against the Ratio of Three.
This week I’m rowing as part of a team in an R45 – a full ocean rowing boat, similar to my 2025 boat.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Thanks for reading.
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