We have looked at the first two pillars; the Mental and Intellectual pillars. Additionally, we have begun to discipline ourselves with some initial exercises. Our first exercise was to clearly state our goals in order to provide us with direction, and secondly by letting ourselves not be ruled by emotion.
Now in order to continue, we must begin to provide additional framework for you to fully realize your potential.
What You Can Conceive, You Can Achieve
By writing your goals down, you’ve dared to dream them. This is an important first step in realizing these goals. You have conceived them, thus making them real. Now you can achieve them.
Goals, when unstated, or worse not written down, never become real. They remain nebulous and you are often able to diffuse responsibility. By writing them down you have unlocked your blind eye, never to be closed again.
Let’s say the goal you have written down is to run a marathon. Write it down. Refer to it often. Let it become a personal mantra. Envision it. You have now committed to your goal.
You Are Not a Victim
By having stated these goals, you may not have realized it, but you have now become responsible to yourself to achieve them. You and you alone, are responsible to yourself for achieving these goals. You must have the right frame-set and embrace personal responsibility.
There isn’t anything or anyone that will stop you, except you. If you want to achieve the right frame of mind and reach your goals, you must take responsibility for your mindset, your body, your development and your life.
Embracing personal responsibility is scary, as doing so leaves no one to blame but yourself. But it is also very empowering. When you realize your responsibility to yourself and take control of your own destiny, you will feel free. No longer will you feel powerless, or subject to others. Instead you will feel accountable to yourself, and rather than feeling lucky when something happens to you, you will feel deserving. You will know that you created your own luck, your own good fortune. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. By having the right frame of mind, and preparing yourself, you will find success.
If you’re overweight, it’s because you don’t work out enough and/or you don’t eat right. Either way, you are neglecting you and your body. You have no one to blame but yourself. Blaming your work, your spouse, or your friends is useless, the exercise and the dieting still need to be done. You’re blaming them, because you don’t want to do the work that is necessary. That is why you must -
Pay Yourself First
The first way you can take responsibility is to make sure to make time for yourself. Often the first thing business owners are taught is to pay themselves. It’s easy to neglect yourself, and not take home any pay. But if you’re working hard and other people are the only ones benefiting, then you don’t have a business, you have a charity.
This same concept should apply to you and your development. Put yourself first. What could be more important than your development? By putting you and your development first, you will be a better everything to everyone around you. If you’re healthier and live longer, you are a better son, daughter, spouse, father, mother, boss, and employee. By putting you and your development first, you will be healthier mentally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Again, these will help you to live the right way, which in turn will make you a better person with healthier relationships.
Exercise 3 is to write down the plans to execute your goals. Now that you have conceived your goals, and written them down, now is the time to clearly lay out the plan to achieve these aims.
If you want to scale Everest, you don’t jump on the next plane to Nepal. You’re going to have to research the task (intellectual preparation that will help you prepare the path), so that you can determine how to prepare yourself physically, mentally and spiritually to achieve your goal.
This may sound like common sense, but studies have shown that you will be 10 times more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. And you will be far more likely if you show yourself how you’re going to do it. And then if you record your progress, you are even more likely to achieve success. As I said before, write everything down. Think of it as a Progress or Development Journal.
Exercise 4 actually goes along with Exercise #3. Make a schedule, making sure to pay yourself first. Schedule the times that you will be dedicating to your development. By setting this time aside for yourself, you will make sure to keep your appointment to yourself.
For instance, if your stated goal is to run the New York Marathon, you will need to train. Make time for yourself by scheduling your runs. First, you might schedule runs for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tuesday from 7am to 8am before work, will be a medium range interval run. Thursday 7am to 8am before work, will be a speed development run. Your Saturdays can be reserved for your long runs, beginning at 8am until 10am, because you have more time available on the weekends.
This doesn’t have to be war and peace. You have a basic aim, a basic plan and a schedule, however, you will need to flesh out your plan.
So here’s a sample so you can see how easy it really is –
Tue 7-8am – Interval Training – 800 meter intervals (Goal of 800 meters at 8:30 min mile pace, 800 meters at 10 min mile pace for 6 miles) – Weekly improvement of 5-10 secs
Thu 7-8am – Speed Workout – 100 meters at peak speed, 200 meters at 5% off peak, 400 meters at 10% off peak – Weekly improvement of 5-10% each week
Sat 8-10am – Distance Workout – Lengthen runs by 10-15% weekly
Or maybe you want to lose some weight…make a plan.
6 days on, 1 day off. Schedule 6 days of work for yourself, one day of cheating to reward yourself. You will find that cheating will actually help you to lose weight. This is due to the body’s ability to adapt.
6 foot, 180 pounds
180 grams of protein per day
Less than 150 grams of carbs per day
Less than 60 grams of fat per day
No carbs after 6pm
8 glasses of water daily
5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily
No diet soda
No more than 2 alcoholic beverages a week (even if fits within daily caloric intake)
It would even make sense at this point to schedule your meals for the week. This will keep you out of starvation mode where you reach for anything in order to satisfy your hunger, like when you go to the supermarket while hungry.
In both cases, you should be documenting how you are doing with your schedule. This will show you how often you’ve committed, as well as chronicle your progress. Realizing that you are progressing will be doubly motivating as well