January 8, 2014
Everyone knows how hard it is to just decide to make a drastic change in your life and then stick with it. I mean come on, who dosent know a smoker who has tried to quit but cant give up that cigarette after a meal, or someone who has yo yo dieted more times than they can count (guilty as charged). Of course we also know the people who have signed up for the gym than gone a few weeks, maybe a month or two... than they just dont have time for it anymore. We are people of routine. You really have to work hard to break those habits if you want things to change. I had to do it... and I am struggling to do it right now for two very different reasons to reach two very different goals in my life.
I think the real key here is making a plan. There has to be a plan in place to accomplish anything you set out to do. Going back to the whole "if you don't practice you wont just 'get it' one day," or "if you dont study the knowledge isnt going to just magically appear in your head." You would think that the answer to this would just be to practice or to study... but in reality it much more complicated than that.
For me, I have to have a plan of attack. A schedule, if you will, of how to accomplish the goal. For example, what days will I practice or study. What will the method of practice be on which days and for how long? What chapters will I study and when will I take the practice exam for the respective section? These dont have to be written out and scheduled to a T, but they should be pretty well outlined when I begin. Super, fantastic, I have spent time to come up with this great plan of attack. The mission now is to go and get it.
The trouble is that whole creature of habit thing. Reaching for a goal and taking the time to "practice" or "study" takes will power. It takes breaking the day to day routine to make something happen. Set the schedule and stick to it. Make it happen. No excuses.
Whether its a paleo challenge, starting up crossfit (or any other gym routine), getting up early out of bed every day, quitting smoking, getting through grad school, taking a huge exam or even getting a muscle up, a goal without a plan is just a wish...