A key factor in achieving any goal in life is proper preparation.
In my business of coaching, I have seen many at all stages of personal development who lack mental preparation. You need preparation because you can’t just behave your way into achieving what you want. Mental preparation is not optional, it needs to be there if you want to have a successful journey.
Many people struggling to reach their goals (whether it be weight loss, athletic performance, muscle gain, business development, personal development, etc.) do not actually need more “know how”, but instead need a whole lot better preparation skills. Preparation is not just about compartmentalizing your life. Proper preparation is about taking care of ALL your responsibilities so that you can organize, prioritize, and time manage a focused strategy on whatever it is you want to accomplish.
For example, finding ways in which you can pre-cook your food so it is more convenient to stay on track. In another example, finding times to train around your work schedule. Trust me, everybody has time, it just takes some preparation.
Take a look at elite sports, great coaches always talk about preparation. This is a great example because even at the highest level of execution, accomplishing the most spectacular feats we have ever seen, there is an entire iceberg underneath of the most UN-spectacular preparation that needs to be in place for anything to happen at all.
“The weekends just fall apart for me”
“I don’t have time for breakfast”
“I ran out of food and I was starving so I got fast food”
“I just don’t have time”
“I was travelling so I had to eat whatever was there”
“I have kids so there are snacks in the house, and I end up eating them too”
These are all very common statements that ONLY occur due to a lack in preparation towards a focused strategy on their goal. With preparation, there is no “winging it”. Preparation is the foundation you stand on so that you don’t make things up as you go along.
Competence is about consistency, not perfection. Preparation brings consistency in thought and action, so without ingrained preparation you won’t ever have a long-term solution.
You want to achieve something?
Get prepared first.
Preparation is the foundation you need to lay down in order to reach any goal, whether it be business, athletics, or body composition related. But the primary driver to which get’s you to your goal once you have laid that foundation down is a sound routine.
You can think about preparation like a concrete foundation, and routine like a house. A house can only be built on a solid foundation, without that, it collapses. Likewise, without preparation there is no sustainable routine.
If your routine is to do what you want to do, before what you need to do, then your routine is working against you. Making what you need to do a priority and organizing that into your routine leads to something that can really be described as unconscious success. I say unconscious because, when routine is habitual it doesn’t require energy or thought in order to execute and yet if it follows your vision it will bring inevitable success.
Take me for example, I get asked from time to time:
“How do you train 6 days a week?” ”How can you read for that long?”
“How are you releasing products, writing books, and coaching clients?”
Honestly, I don’t even think about it. I just do it. It’s ingrained in me now.
Another example is the military. They drive routine like no one else. Why? Because it makes a person more effective, regardless of the circumstances they are under. The more prepared you are, the less chance anything has of getting in your way.
Simply put, if you want to achieve something you need to develop a routine that prioritizes your goals and values. Routines eliminate distractions because you know what you’ll be doing and when you’ll be doing it. Without this, things like Facebook, TV, and other entertaining distractions can make their way into your whole day because without structure, entertaining things always win the attention war.
The more you can make your life a comfortable routine, the better. This includes meal times, training times, research times, leisure time, and I place a huge importance on sleep/wake times (so should you!).
Routine building is the most logical, straight line way to achievement because you automatically have higher levels of focus towards whatever task is at hand.