Setting yourself up for success

I have to admit, I completely ripped off this concept from Nate Green.  But I found the simplicity of it very powerful and wanted to share it with all of you.  In one of his recent posts, Nate discusses the lack of follow through that many people have.  They all want to get in shape, and they may start a program/routine, but that’s it.  It never gets further than the beginning stages.  As Nate says, anyone can start something.  That’s not really impressive at all.  What really counts is-can you finish it?

Nate gives two basic thoughts to combat this lack of follow through.  (I’ve taken the liberty of expanding on them with my own thoughts.)

1. Have a strongly defined goal.

Don’t be overly simplistic.  Goals like “I want to get stronger” or “I want to be thinner” are too vague and are difficult to measure progress and success.  Be more specific.  So instead of “I want to get stronger”, maybe what you really want your goal to be is something like, “I want to add 50 pounds to my bench,”  or “I want to be able to do 5 more pullups than I currently can.”

No, not this kind

And instead of “I want to be thinner,” maybe you should make a goal of losing a certain number of dress or pant sizes.

These kinds of goals are much more measurable than ones that are fairly vague.  It’s very easy to tell if you can do 5 more pullups or fit into smaller clothes.

In addition to having very clearly defined goals, also have a clearly defined time frame.  I think we all know someone who has been “trying to lose 10 pounds” for the last several years.  If you don’t give yourself a target date to meet your goal, it’s going to get pushed to the back burner pretty quick.  And then probably taken off the stove.

2. Do.The.Work.

Whether or not you feel like it.  If you really want to get and stay lean, you need to eat well and train hard-consistently.  Not for one day a week.  And if you want to get strong, you need to lift heavy and not miss workouts, unless you have an incredibly good reason not to.  And no-having the sniffles, being tired or just not feeling up to it are not good reasons.  Your goals need to be a priority, part of your schedule and non-negotiable.

You have to be willing to do what needs to be done to accomplish something.  This really is the toughest part for most people.  They say they’re going to start eating healthier and it lasts a day, or maybe a week.  Next thing you know they’re back to cramming twinkies down their throat.  Or, they say they want to get stronger and they keep doing the same body part split, same exercises and same weights they’ve been doing for the last 5 years.  It doesn’t work like that.  If living in a lean and strong body was easy, everyone would be lean and strong.

Here’s a quick recap:

-Set a clear goal.  

-Do the work weather you feel like it or not.

Like I mentioned above, starting something isn’t really impressive.  Keeping it going? Now that’s something to strive for.


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