The Secret To Reaching Your Goals: Find A Program And Stick To It
I was reading an article the other day titled “How To Exercise The Vital Muscle of Patience.” It’s a great read written by the Chief SFG – Brett Jones.
In it, Brett talks about the need for a plan – the need for direction, and needing to know two things:
- Where you are currently
- And where you’d like to go
I’d highly recommend you check out. It spurred some thoughts of my own, which became this post, The Secret To Reaching Your Goals.
No matter what you goal is, chances are high that you’re going to need a lot of strength in the muscle Brett refers to as “patience.” You can’t have mastery without patience, likewise it shouldn’t surprise that you’re not reaching your goals when patience is lacking.
Today I wanted to share with you a few secrets that will help you reach your goals. This is applicable not only to strength and performance, but also life and business as well. Hopefully it sheds some light on the common denominators between your goals and the tried methods that perhaps failed to get you to your goals.
What’s The Problem?
You might not refer to your goal as a “problem” but every goal has a root cause – a reason that you’ve decided to chase it down.
If you don’t know what the problem is, how then are you to fix it?
It’s no different than hopping in the car and heading “north.” If you’re in Florida north might mean the Carolina’s or Canada – how are you to know? In the same sense, if you’re in California “north” has an entirely different meaning. This relates to Brett’s point of needing to know “where you are currently” and “where you want to go.”
As it relates to your personal goals – health and fitness and/or strength and performance related – knowing where you are currently requires some insight, such as:
- What’s the goal?
- What’s the timeline?
- Is there anything preventing me from achieving my goal? – Time constraints, injuries, etc.
- And, what’s the plan of attack?
The crazy thing is, most people never ask themselves these questions and instead simply start “working out” – because they have some aimless goal of say “toning-up.”
- Not specific
- No timeline
- And no plan of attack
It shouldn’t surprise you then when 3 weeks later you’re frustrated and searching for a new program – you have no clue where you are, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there.
So, first and foremost you must know where you are heading. You must know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and you must know when you’re going to get there.
A definitive timeline is absolutely necessary – otherwise, how else are you supposed to keep yourself accountable?
- Know your goal
- Know the timeline
- Create a plan of attack
Finding A Program – Your Plan of Attack
Assuming you’ve answered the goal and timeline question, you now need a plan of attack – how are you going to reach your goal by said date?
Here’s something I picked up from Dan John:
No matter what your goal is someone like you had a goal just like yours and followed a program that worked – do what that person did.
Sounds simple enough, but where do you find that program?
Well, if you’ve signed up for a specific event chances are the event website might have some links for you to pursue, or, you might have to do a little digging and find a professional who has successfully coached someone to your goal.
There’s a program out there that took someone where you want to go. Find it and follow it.
Some people like to think they know enough to “do it on their own”, and to be fair, there are plenty of people who do achieve their goals all on their own. The question you have to ask yourself then is, “am I that person? Can I self-coach myself to reach my goal?”
In my opinion this is going to be a hard “no” for most people, and not for the reasons you might think.
Rather than attempting to be the Jack-of-all-trades, understand that there is a professional somewhere who knows more than you and can give you a plan to reach your goal. Additionally, that person will do a great job in serving as your support team – because no matter what your goal is, you will undoubtedly encounter obstacles. When they present themselves you’ll want to have the knowledge of a pro in navigating around and/or through said obstacle.
How Sustainable Is The Program?
Before you attach yourself to a program, this is a must; you must ask yourself how sustainable is the program?
A program that requires you to train 5 days a week when you have a wife, 2 kids, a full-time job, and volunteer as your kids baseball coach doesn’t leave you with much time to train. However that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
I see people succeed all the time that have lives like this, the reason they succeed isn’t because they’ve found a way to create more time in the day, it’s because they follow a program that fits their lifestyle.
You’d be surprised what little amount of work is needed to achieve your goal. The main ingredients are patience and consistency – more on those in a minute.
Be honest with yourself; don’t choose a program that will cause stress and frustration in your life simply because “it looks cool.” Choose one that blends well with your lifestyle and still leaves room for some R&R. After all, you still need to enjoy life and your training program should support that!
I can attribute the sustainability of my current program as being the sole reason why I’m still on it and was able to continue to make progress in the midst of a cross-country move!
So ask yourself, how sustainable is the program? If you only have 30-minutes a day, 3 days a week, will the program work for you?
This is a great quote I picked up from Brett’s article:
“An overnight success takes ten years. Do you have the patience to sustain the work to have that overnight success?”
In my experience again, I’d say “no.”
At the first sign of adversity you’re ready to change the program or label it as something that “doesn’t work for you.”
Does it really “not work for you”, or are you not working for the program?
Once you’ve determined your goal, set a date, found a professional/program you want to follow that fits your lifestyle, then it’s completely up to you to stick to the plan.
A saying I find myself repeating often is, “persist and resist.”
- Persist in your efforts
- Resist giving into distractions
Once you’ve done your research, contacted a professional/found your program, all that’s left, is to stick to the plan.
There will be easier days and harder days. You’ll love the program some days and others you’ll consider changing it up. Don’t do it, remind yourself that you did your research, you know this will work – it’s up to you to trust the program.
This is where the majority of people fail (aside from not setting specific goals and timelines in the first place).
At this point in the process there’s nothing left but to merely enjoy the process. You can’t speed up time and you can get it back, so the only reasonable thing left to do is:
- Stick to your program
- Give it your 100% best effort, and
- Enjoy the process
Fortunately if you’re in need of some assistance I happen to know a knowledgeable professional who can help you out!
Grab a pen, a piece of paper, and a chair. Sit down, write out your goal, create a timeline, then find and stick to a program – this is the secret to you achieving your goals. And of course,