Law 1: Make a Plan, Make it Plain
Whenever you start to build, you must have a plan. Ninety-nine percent of the time you have a predetermined destination when you get in the car. If you are not sure how to get there you look at a map or a GPS. before driving. “A 1000 mile journey begins with a single step” is a popular quote. I take it a step further with “A 1000 mile journey begins with a single step in the right direction.” Can you imagine traveling 1000 miles East when you should have gone West? If you were to go on a Safari vacation you need a guide to navigate through the unknown terrain. It is wrought with all sorts of pitfalls and misdirection. I am your guide to the ‘Land of Lean.’
You will triumph if you make a plan and make it plain, you will be a tragedy if you ignore this law.
Tragedy: Jim is a successful businessman. He has always been a success. An all-state football player in high school, he went on to play college football on a full-ride scholarship. He was an Academic All-American and graduated at the to of his class. Five years out of college he met his wife and they have three children. He plays pick up basketball twice a week at the recreation center and lifts weights three times per week to maintain his physique. As the kids came his responsibilities increased. At first, the minor weight gain was a novelty. He called his belly ‘an extra layer.’ He continued to pack on the pounds over the years. He gained an average of seven pounds per year over a 10 year period. He went from a lean 240 pounds, to a bulky 310 pounds. It came on slowly. Slow enough to where it never spurred him into action. After a physical from the doctor it finally struck him that he needed to do something for his sake, and his kids sake. He felt under all of the extra layers of fat, that he was still a stud. He was confident that he could achieve his goals. He had never failed at anything. He had attained the heights of success through natural talent and willpower. He got a membership at the local gym. He really did not have a set time to go to the gym, or a plan. He figured he would do the same thing that he did when he played college ball. ‘Go when he felt like it, and lift as much as he could.’ In college he would play hard during the weekend with his fraternity brothers, but he maintained at the gym. Any fat he put on during the offseason he knew that he could polish up in about four weeks. He figured that he could use another ‘polishing up.’ As he went in for his assessment he told the trainer “look, I used to play college ball. I know what to do. I bought my wife and myself a membership, I want to give my sessions to her. She needs help with the machines.
Jim really did not have a plan, nor did he have a specific goal. he knew he wanted to drop a few pounds, but he did not have an exact number in mind. he did not have set days to go to the gym. He preferred going to the gym at night so he could catch up with old acquaintances. He went a few times in the morning because he figured with his busy schedule he had best get it over with. But it was so dead in the morning. the gym was alive at night. It felt like a social gathering more than a workout facility. Jim likes socializing. He would talk to a few guys while he waited his turn to do bench press. He slapped on a few plates and did a set of 8-12 like it showed him in a Muscle Magazine. After about four weeks his bench jumped up. He was proud of his achievement. He would challenge his friend Larry, who used a trainer, and told him that he could easily out lift him and he did not waste his money on a trainer. After a time it was evident that Jim was one of the strongest guys in the gym. He was still over 300 pounds, and he still carried a substantial amount of fat around his waist. Along came Christmas; good food, good drink, and good people and he did not go to the gym for three weeks. After he three week break he found that he preferred to stay home instead of go to the gym. He could find a list of things he’d rather do than go to the gym. He never reached his goals because he did not have a goal. Imagine all of the the health issues that are in store for him. Are you Jim?
Triumph: Jim’s friend, Larry, was his polar opposite. He played sports in high school, but he was never a star. Larry did not have the natural physical gifts. He had one thing that ultimately led him to success. He was driven and goal-oriented. Larry lacked the big personality of Jim. He was anonymous, an ordinary guy. Those who worked with him knew that was not the case. Larry once stated ” If I told myself that I would put one penny in the piggy bank everyday, I would do it. I would not grab a handful of pennies and be done with it, nor would I put two in the next day. If I forgot to put the penny in at the beginning of the day, I would turn around, go home and put one penny in the bank.” He said this when he was 17. At 34, he decided he wanted to live a healthy lifestyle. He joined the same gym as Jim, but he extracted as much as he could from the trainer. He told him that he wanted to get lean. He met with the trainer once a month for technique training, he received a customized program to fit his schedule and stuck to the time that he planned on going three days per week. He walked around the gym with his workout log and wrote down the weight, reps, and rest periods in between. He was able to see patterns, he learned what was best for his body type and he was able to change his workout without compromising the foundation of what he had been taught. He also ran for minutes on his off days. Larry went on to hire a dietitian for one month. he learned how many calories he should take in each day. he also got a list of recipes for him and his family. He went on to pick a day for each dinner. He would deviate from time to time, but each day was different. The variety made it an easy transition. In three weeks time, he had his routine mastered and was able to alter it each week without help from the trainer. In eight weeks, he increased the distance he could run in 20 minutes by 15%. his body changed in that short amount of time as well. He lost 10 pounds of fat, and he could not hide the hard lines that were beginning to show on his frame. His face was leaner, and he could see a suggestion of a six-pack for the first time in his life. Larry took a week off. He sat down with his trainer again and readjusted his goals. He felt like he could do anything, so he decided that he would compete in a triathlon. For the next eight weeks, Larry knew exactly what days he would run, swim, bike, or do all three. He fueled his body with the right types of food. He increased his carbohydrates and fats during this period to train for endurance. On his first triathlon he placed in the top 20 for his age group. He was pleased with the results, and went on to compete, and also motivate and coach others. He also eventually made it to the ‘Land of Lean’, he was ripped at 36 years of age and two years of training.
Larry was successful not because he was a super athlete, he simply made a plan and stuck to it. He had a series of goals, short-term and long-term. He did not have to remember what his goals were, all he had to do was look at a piece of paper to keep him on the right track. He spent minimal time for maximum results, because he took a little extra time in the beginning to make a plan.
- Write out your goal, be specific. Describe it in a few words
- Write 10 different reasons why you want to reach this goal
- Make a plan of attack
- Answer these questions
1) how many times a week will I workout?
2) where will I workout?
3) what time do I eat to get maximum results?
4) what do I eat to get maximum results?
Now that your plan is plain, plan to see it to the end!
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