Over the years, I've been fortunate to work with a wide variety of people with many different goals. I've seen dozens of Karate Kids who've spent several years to achieve their Black Belts. I've also seen hundreds of adults take off tremendous amounts of weight in just 12 weeks, and 20 different Biggest Loser groups.
What I've come to realize is that even though their goals are diverse, the process is pretty much the same. I was reminded of this recently when doing some planning for our new group of Karate for Kids students and our Biggest Loser "21" group which is also just getting underway. So here are 10 steps that will help each of these groups of kids and adults get where they want to go:
1. Know what you want. You have to have a goal. It's impossible to set course if you don't have a destination.
2. Have a burning desire. Without that fire, you won't have the staying power to go the distance. Especially when other things come up. And they always come up.
3. Get more information. Dreams are great, but they're just that: Dreams. But when you get specific information, you can have a plan.
4. Find someone who knows how to do it. Ideally, someone who's actually done it. Even better, someone who's helped others do it too.
5. Just get started. Too many people sit on the fence, afraid to make that jump. But even with desire and a plan, nothing will happen until you get started.
6. Set smaller, bite-sized goals. Keep the big picture in mind, but focus on the short-term immediate goals. Knock them out one at a time and check them off your list. This will give you some momentum, and a sense of accomplishment too.
7. Review your progress from time to time. Compare it with others to see if you're on track. If you've missed a step or two, figure out what went wrong and redouble your efforts.
8. Stay focused. Lots of things will happen that can throw you off track. Life intrudes. Always. You have to keep the fire, and stay focused.
9. Celebrate success. Even the little ones, and not just your own. Celebrate others' successes too. It's easy to get discouraged, so look for the silver lining in things. Stop the negative self-talk.
10. Never give up. No matter what. You've probably heard "Quitters never win, and winners never quit." I've never seen a single person who got what they wanted by quitting, but I've seen hundreds get what they want by simply not giving up! A loss doesn't mean it's over. It means the journey is just beginning.
I know the article has been about 10 steps, but there's actually one more. A big one. Sometimes we just can't do it on our own. In times like that, prayer can make all the difference. I've found that to be true, and know plenty of others who've done it too. In fact, it can often make the other steps easier.
Some people who've taken the first few steps include our newest group of Biggest Losers. Good luck on your new journey. I'm looking forward to celebrating your successes over the next 12 weeks!