Do The Work

27 Dec, 2016

Jeremiah Chapman CSCS, SCCC, Pn-1

As we head into 2017 many people will start to set new goals and become excited about the fresh start they have once the new year arrives. While goal setting is great (see our GPS goal setting process here), you must be willing to do the work in order to achieve the success you want.

Many people have grandiose ideas, dreams, and goals but fail to persist long enough to see them through. Having a plan(s), reinforcing them consistently, and acting to see them through is the difference between the successful and the dreamers. John C. Maxwell is credited for the quote “dreams don’t work unless you do.” This statement obviously points out the fact that you must do the work to achieve your dreams but it also silently highlights the importance of goal setting. Goals are dreams that you have mapped out and are taking action to achieve.

Defining Your Plan

As you start to lay out and define your goals, what are the action steps required to get you from point A to point B? Did you plan for any of the obstacles you will inevitably face? In her book, Rethinking Positive Thinking, Dr. Gabriele Oettingen defines the WOOP method to help people plan and lay out their goals. WOOP is an acronym for Wish, Outcome, Obstacles, and Plan. What is your wish (goal) that you would like to accomplish? How would this outcome make you feel if you could achieve it? What is the biggest obstacle standing in your way for you to achieve your wish?  What can you do to overcome your biggest obstacle?

Using the if/then method to overcome obstacles you can start to design your plan. If this obstacle happens, then I will take this action to overcome it. Think about what could possibly stand in your way and then come up with ways to work around, over, or through them!

Reinforce the Plan Daily

Grant Cardone talks about the significance of writing your goals down every morning and reviewing them every night before bed in his latest book, Be Obsessed or Be Average. “Wake up and go to sleep focusing on your goals. Write them down every morning and read them ever night until they become a part of you. Once you internalize them, you will see everything around you as a means of achieving those goals. The moment you quit this practice, you will find yourself falling into the repetitive cycle of work without purpose.” This habit allows you to keep your goals fresh and provides you with daily motivation to continually push yourself to do more. 

Whether you are old school and hand write them every day, have a digital journal in your phone notes, or an app like Evernote, the process of continually writing and reviewing your goals will keep you inspired. You can also set reminders on your phone to go off throughout the day. This is a great way to cue you into action on days when you feel like giving up or aren’t as motivated.

Take Action

Every young kid growing up has heard the saying “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” To achieve anything, you first must be willing to try and act. If you fail, get back up, dust yourself off and move to plan B. Michael Jordan put it very bluntly, “I can accept failure—everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” To achieve your goals, you must be willing to go ALL IN. Don’t hold back. If you make a mistake or have a setback, use it as a learning opportunity and move on. One of the best mental conditioning coaches in the country, Brian Cain always says, “there aren’t winner and losers in life, there are winners and learners”. Use any setback you have as a setup for greater success in the future. Act, be persistent, and never give up.

Believe and Follow Through

If you have a big goal, believe in it, and are willing to do the work, you can achieve anything. Therefore, belief is the cornerstone of our character development at Performance Course. Believing in you is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. In his memoir, Shoe Dog, Phil Knight the creator of Nike gives this advice, “Let everyone else call your idea crazy… just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.” Only you truly know your aspirations and what you want to accomplish. Don’t settle and do not stop until you’ve reached your own finish line.


Use the GPS method to define your goals, develop a plan to WOOP them, and set your schedule. Then simply do the work. If plan A doesn’t go your way, then go to plan B. If plan B doesn’t work you still have 24 other letters in the alphabet to work through! Continue to write your goals down daily to reemphasize your purpose and keep you focused on your dreams. Be persistent in your pursuit of your dreams and don’t settle for anything less. Before you know it your “crazy idea” just may become your reality.