Yesterday the Push team arrived back in the office for the first time in 2017. During our weekly staff meeting I asked each of my teammates to give me two things:

1. One of your personal resolutions.

2. One of your professional resolutions to improve yourself, your
department and the company.

Like many Americans, I continuously heard “lose weight” as a personal resolution. Or as Phil Vangelakos said, “not have my gut jiggle when I brush my teeth.”

No surprise there, as you’re probably seeing lines for the treadmills at the gym right now. Give it two months. You’ll see three of eight treadmills completely open at all times.

I’m not going to give you some “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days” quick solutions. Those almost always (and inevitably) fail. You might lose those pounds, but your tendency to want quick solutions means you gain them back with a few
more. Instead, I’m going to give you a formula to lose weight and to actually keep it off. It’s not quick. It sucks. Embrace the suck and stop looking for quick solutions. Push harder and get real results. Get better. Be better.

Use this formula to lose pounds, build muscle, train for a 10k or to start and grow your own business. It’s not about losing weight. It’s about setting and meeting goals.

Here’s the formula:

1. Set numerical goals:

Don’t have these vague ideas like “lose weight” or “make more money.” Give them real numerical values that you can actually meet. And actually measure:

  • Drop 15 pounds
  • Earn a 20% bonus
  • Read ten books

Having a number in mind makes it easier to remember and gives you an actual goal to shoot for. You will either hit that goal or you won’t, but at least you have something to chase. Keep it clear and focused. As you should be.

2. Break those goals down into smaller obtainable goals

You know the joke about how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Don’t call PETA on me. It’s just another way of saying “one step at a time.” You should have a:

  • Yearly goal
  • Quarterly goal
  • Monthly goal
  • Weekly goal
  • Daily goal

Training to run your first marathon or slimming down to fit back into your old jeans takes effort–and time. You will feel better if you can achieve these milestone goals. Not if; when you achieve them.

And then…

3. Daily “to-do” items that add up to those goals:

Every day has to figure into the big goals. Now, for some things like marathon training, you need to have days off (of running) scheduled. But for most of these goals, it’s repetitive tasks every day that become good habits, or a slowly escalating scale. You need a “to-do” list. Something like:

  • Run five miles today
  • Lift for 45 minutes today
  • Yoga today

The plan may differ (based on the goal), but it has to actually be a to-do item every day— and a commitment to scratch the to-do’s off your list.

4. Track everything:

You can’t figure out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong unless you can analyze your actions. And the only way to do either is by tracking your progress. This is getting ridiculously easy with technology like Fitbit, sites like Goodreads and software at workor you can use an old dependable method like mine:

The important thing is not how you track, but that you do. You do get a good feeling checking the box or entering the number on a regular basis. It’s true.

5. Build an accountability team

No matter how big or small your goal is, you will be tempted to sleep through your alarm, convince yourself the weather is too crappy, or not feel like following up on business leads. Here’s what you need:

People you can count on to bug the living shit out of you.

You might be able to enlist your spouse or a friend or a co-worker–for me,
it’s my F3 brothers and they shame me on social media and everywhere else.
Just do what works for you. But you will need something or someone. No one
can do it alone.

6. Find an event 

Everyone works better with a deadline. And whether it’s a number on a scale or a mountain to scale, having the destination on the horizon is a good thing.

Especially if it’s an event–your high school reunion, the Thanksgiving turkey trot run, the beginning of swimsuit season–the date circled on the calendar is a great motivator. It’s also a light at the end of the tunnel.

There you go. Your path to fitness, weight loss, business gain, knowledge… you’re welcome! Follow the plan. Get off your ass.

And have a great 2017.