As I write this, I am celebrating a personal best when it comes to fitness. At the start of 2023, I set myself a goal to workout every single day.

If fitness is not your jam, don’t worry because this post isn’t really about fitness at all. It’s about how to create discipline.

I set a few caveats to make this achievable:

Weekdays only. Five days across Monday – Friday seems like plenty.

Holidays don’t count. I knew I wouldn’t necessarily have access to a gym or be on a schedule that would let me keep my habit going.

Intensity didn’t matter. I knew there would be some days that I didn’t really want to work out but if I could just get myself to the gym then I’d end up doing something which was better than nothing.

And today I hit a 150 day streak.

I’m not finished either.

What’s wild is that when I went on holiday for two weeks recently, I was actually genuinely quite sad not to be able to go to the gym and workout.

Please be assured that this is not a sentiment I have ever felt before.

Change your focus

Many of us have goals in all sorts of areas of our lives. In fitness, we might focus on muscle mass, weight loss, flexibility, strength etc. In business it’s nearly always profitability. In church we tend to gravitate to numbers such as Sunday attendance or small groups.

But I’ve learnt over the last 150 days that whilst such goals are not inherently bad, they’re nearly always very unhelpful to focus on.

I know that because my number one goal each day has simply been to keep the streak going. And without a lot of willpower, I have somehow quasi-miraculously turned into someone who goes to the gym.

It’s important to note that I would still class myself as a novice in this area. I’m learning plenty about all of the nuances around different exercises, rest, nutrition, intensity etc. But I would be lying if I said I haven’t felt the benefits.

💪Increased strength
💊No more back pain
☀️Greater confidence
🔋More energy

Doing a few perfectly executed workouts will always lead to lesser results than 150 days of consistency. In fact my real goal is much less about days and much more about years and decades. That’s where the real results and benefits are.

Why you fail

Whenever you start to focus on the wrong thing, we naturally lean into intensity and what we do becomes unsustainable. Here are some examples.

Money. When we only think about profit we start to see our customers as a means to an end. Ironically they will sense it too and it drives down business and hurts your brand.

Growth. When the goal of the church is to get people into a room, this quickly leads to a cheapening of ministry and watering down of the thing that makes the church so powerful.

Do we want our businesses to make more money? Do we want our churches to be full of people? Well yes of course. But these are the wrong things to focus on.

Try this simple 3-part framework instead.

1. Choose your direction

Yes we do need a vision and we will need to check in on it from time to time but NOT every day. Take time to reflect and envision the future and then forget about it. I’ll explain why in the next point.

2. Plot your route

Now that you have clarity about where you want to go, break down the steps of how to get there. The truth is that it’s easier to dream about the future than it is to do the work. That’s why so many of us are great at starting things but rarely follow through.

3. Make failure unacceptable

Now that you know where you want to be and how to get there, you want to make sure that you don’t give up. This is near-impossible on your own. You need someone to hold you accountable to the plan that you’ve made so that you’ll actually see it through. Because it’s the work in the day to day that gives you the results you desire.

We can also think of these three parts as vision, strategy & accountability.

I use this simple framework with my coaching clients and it works. If you think about every great project or creative idea you attempted that didn’t pan out, then you’ll be able to see why in contrast with the framework above.

So now it’s time for some questions.

How many dreams have fallen by the roadside because you simply did not follow through with the process?

And how happy would you be if you could turn just one of your dreams into a reality in the next 12 months?

This is exactly what my coaching programme is about. Whether business growth, church strategy or personal goals and projects, book a Clarity Call using the button below to find out if you’d be a good fit.

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