We see it every Monday-bros in tank tops lining up to get on the bench, pumping out 135 for 10, jumping to 185 for 8, then making the jump to 225 and getting 3 or so with their ass a foot off the bench like they’re trying to get the ceiling pregnant.
Each and every week, they come in and try to squeak out 1 more rep, but to no avail. They’re perpetually stuck and their bench hasn’t moved one iota since Dubya was in office.
See, they have no plan. They’re just doing what they’ve always done. This is how most people treat every aspect of their lives.
Ask yourself, have I made real progress in my training, in my career, or in my relationships in the last month? In the last year? Or does the planet just keep spinning while I try not to fall off?
Good is the enemy of great. It’s really important to understand that. Just because things are good doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to make it better. Life is too short for settling. You need to set some specific goals, or as Martin Rooney says, declare your mission.
Whether you want to set a bench PR, get a promotion at work, or find someone to sleep with you on a consistent basis, you need to clearly define your mission. On paper. Where you’ll see it every damn day. It’s like plugging your destination into your navigation system before you leave the driveway to make the trip more direct. Think SMART:
Let’s say you want to add 20 pounds to your front squat PR. That’s specific, measurable, and attainable, but why is it relevant and important? When the going gets tough, you’re going to need to have something to dig down deep for and have a real reason to not talk yourself out of completing it. And lastly, when are you going to set this new PR? Without a specific time frame to complete this thing, it’s just a dream, so put a date to it and stick to it.
After you have your mission clearly defined, you need to plan your attack. Working with the end in mind and reverse engineering this is key. With the above example, let’s say you want to add 20 pounds to your front squat in 2 months. That’s 8 weeks, so you’re going to need to add 5 pounds to the bar every other week to keep you on track to reaching your deadline. This will help you design your entire program so the goal stays front and center and you don’t get carried away with all kinds of other, easier shit.
Lastly, you need to execute. Stay the course. You’ve designed a plan, don’t deviate from it. The mind plays funny tricks on us when things get tough and wants us to stay comfortable. You made your plan with sound mind and body, so keep with it when both want to take the easy way out and bail.
Don’t settle for good. Set SMART goals for each aspect of your life-training, business, relationships, finances. Define your mission, plan your attack, and ruthlessly execute your plan until you reach the planned outcome. Then set some new goals, rinse, and repeat, until they put you in the ground.
Life is too short to stay stagnant.