Today, I am inspired to write after finishing yet another great workout! However, I also realized this is my 100th post! 🥳🎉 I started this blog unsure what to write about, so it is unreal to know I have already published so many articles. Guess I had a lot to talk about after all lol. There are numerous topics I can discuss on this one hundredth post, but there is one topic that has been on my mind throughout the week: how do we achieve the goals we set for the new year?
Many of us view the new year as a refresh and an opportunity to set and pursue new goals. Some of us use the new year to reset and recommit to pre-existing personal and professional goals. Either way, many of us are in fresh pursuit of our goals! However, if you’re anything like me, some of those goals are daunting and overwhelming to even think about. If that’s you, I want to quickly encourage you to adopt and apply the “one day, one rep” methodology.
How do you achieve your goals this year? One day, one rep at a time.
Where does “one day, one rep” come from?
I spend a fair amount of time in the gym–around 10 hours per week. As such, it has become a lifestyle, hobby, and necessity for me. Seriously, my entire week is discombobulated if I miss one day 😬. Because it has become habitual, there are times that my workout routine can become monotonous and unexciting and my “gains” stagnate. For that reason, I am constantly tweaking my workout routine to meet new strength and/or physique goals.
Without fail, I find myself flexing in the mirror after every workout–including the first day. Of course there’s no noticeable change. Yet, I wake up early the next day and execute my workout routine even more diligently than the day before. I usually start to see and feel minor changes after a couple of weeks. Many inspirational leaders would simply say that you should use those minor changes as motivation to continue exercising day after day. The issue is the change you see and feel will be so minor that you may feel discouraged–especially when the soreness lingers. That discouragement makes it harder and harder to muster up the strength and motivation to exercise the next day, and your goals stagnate.
That’s where my one day, one rep methodology comes in handy.
When I flex in the mirror, I flex to measure my progress and dream, not to simply motivate myself. My motivation is based upon how challenging the workout is each day. For example, I focus on the rhythm of each stride when I’m doing wind sprints for my cardiovascular workout. Another example is I focus on how my targeted muscle group contracts on each repetition while I’m lifting weights. Overall, I recognize that the rhythm of my stride and the contractions are what will cause me to reach my ultimate goals.
I know some of you are already wondering, “What does this have to do with setting and achieving my goals in 2023?!” If you’ve been following my platform for any length of time, you know that’s exactly where I’m going next!
How does the one day, one rep methodology apply to you accomplishing your goals in 2023?
This mentality applies whether you want to build muscle, become more patient, get a promotion, find a new job, or any other goal! Here’s how to to apply it.:
The phases for setting and achieving goals!
I am going to introduce an easy-to-remember (and slightly cheesy) acronym to discuss the phases of setting and achieving goals. I will place more emphasis on the execution phase. You ready?
Have a clear vision of what achieving your goal looks like. Maybe that means identifying someone who has been where you are trying to go, reading books, watching movies, reading articles, or doing whatever it takes to boost your imagination. You have to clearly see future you after accomplishing whatever goal you set! I’m encouraging you to dream in such high definition that you can physically feel yourself in that future moment. Sounds crazy right? Not really. That’s one reason I stare in the mirror after each workout; I am picturing what “success” looks like and I encourage you to do the same.
Brain dump every aspect of your dream! This is why the clarity and high definition vision are important. Focus on what you see in your vision, not how you are going to achieve it. We will address the latter soon. Imagine you’re an artist painting the world around you. Don’t worry about structure or a template during this phase. The purpose of this phase is to simply write out every single aspect of your dream. Try not to omit a single detail.
Honestly, this phase can be both fun and overwhelming. For me, the offload phase can create a range of emotions because I get really excited, then overwhelmed when I start to cheat forward to the plan phase, then I get excited again once I realize I don’t have to worry about “how” yet. Writing down your dream or vision in detail is a crucial step, so do your best to stay focused and inspired by your dream!
This is the first time you have to apply the reality of your expertise and resources to your dream. Sometimes, it can be the most discouraging phase as you feel like you have to completely erase portions of the dream you offloaded in the last step. Before you do that, slow down. You may not have the knowledge or expertise, but there is someone out there who does. Be creative as you add structure to the dream you offloaded.
Before I begin planning, I like to highlight four “legs” or critical aspects of each dream. Similar to a chair, without all four legs being equally balanced, the overall goal will rock and eventually fall. Each of these “legs” are similar to the “mini-goals” I described in “You CAN Make it Through These Dark Times! PART 2- How to Conquer Adversity, Anxiety, and Toxic thoughts.” The difference is these legs aren’t necessarily sequential, but they are required to achieve your overall goal. For example, if my goal is to lose weight and build muscle, the four legs I would identify are diet, cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and rest. Then, I would go through the first three phases (Dream, Offload, and Plan) for all four of those legs.
The next step is to conduct research on how to accomplish each of the legs. Here are the eight questions I want you to answer for each leg.:
- What does achievement or success look like in the end?
- Are you in the right physical, spiritual, and mental position to accomplish this goal?
- Why do you want to accomplish this goal?
- How does this goal align to your overall purpose?
- Who is involved?
- Who needs to be involved?
- What sequential steps do you need to take?
- How long will it take to complete?
You know the “aha!” feeling you get when you’re watching a movie and one of the characters says the title? Well, we’ve made it to the last phase–the execution phase–and it’s time to reveal the title!
Make every rep count!
Many of us naturally feel refreshed and rejuvenated by the idea of getting a fresh start each day. Build upon that momentum! Wake up every morning and affirm this:
Today is a new day and a fresh opportunity to achieve my goals! Yesterday is gone; I won’t dwell on my mistakes, but I will build upon my momentum. Tomorrow’s challenges remain unknown, so I will live in the moment to set myself up for success tomorrow. I will make every rep count today!
That’s exactly how I want you to prep your mind every morning. You should execute a small portion of your plan each day if your goal is important to you. Those small actions (“reps”) accumulate over time and result in you achieving your goals. That means you must be laser-focused and apply all your energy into each rep.
Coach Waldron, my high school basketball coach, would always say something that has stuck with me over the years, “the next game on our schedule is the most important game of the year.” That means that no matter how talented or unskilled the next team was, we would have to recalibrate our minds and focus our efforts on solely preparing for the next team. I apply this same logic to accomplishing my goals. We have to be laser focused on completing the current reps regardless of how challenging the future may appear to be.
Trust the process. Failure is not fatal.
Even with the daily affirmations, focus, and energy, some days will feel like big wins while others feel like significant losses. The most important thing is that we remember that whatever sacrifices we made that day were worth it. The true victory comes from the fact that you did your best, and your best is good enough. You made progress even if you feel like you failed! Though often unplanned, failure is an important part of the process because it presents an opportunity for you to learn, tweak the plan as required, and grow. For that reason, failure is not fatal; it’s fabulous!
I get it though; failure rarely feels good. It causes a bit of a rollercoaster effect on our emotions. Well, I’ll have to borrow an encouraging message that I got from my brother, Joshua Ogunyemi, in his book tough times don’t last, TOUGH PEOPLE DO.:
“Rollercoasters are fun! We have had a blast raising Kennedy. Yes, it’s been scary at times. Yes, it’s been a bumpy ride. But that’s why we love rollercoasters, right?! We stand in line patiently for ‘ it doesn’t matter how long,’ push past the fear and anxiety, then buckle ourselves in and enjoy the ride. That’s the mindset you have to take into your tough times.”Joshua Ogunyemi, tough times don’t last, TOUGH PEOPLE DO
If you want to read more about overcoming rejection and failure, I talked about failure a bit more in a previous article titled, “How do you Respond to Rejection and Failure?“
Dedicate time and remain focused, committed, and consistent.
Accomplishing your goals gets tougher as time progresses. For many, it’s the combination of slower than expected progress, failures, change in priorities, loss of focus, reduction of resources, and tiredness that impedes our ability to accomplish our goals. This is where having a strong “why” and aligning your goals to your overall purpose comes in handy. Your “why” and purpose are the driving forces behind your daily reps. Keep them posted in a location you visit often–whether that be your refrigerator door, your office computer, or the “to-do” list in your phone. Commit yourself to continuing a lifelong pursuit of your purpose.
Once you remember your why, ensure you have a set time each day to work towards your goal. This not only helps you settle into a new routine, but it becomes a forcing function for you and everyone else to respect your time and boundaries. Additionally, having a set time and routine produces the consistency you need to achieve your goals.
Measure and celebrate progress.
“Before” and “After” pictures have become a staple in the fitness community. The bigger the difference in the pictures, the more inspiring they appear to be. The minor changes are the ones we tend to overlook and underestimate. That’s where I want you to focus. Create reliable metrics to validate your progress, but don’t forget the warning I gave you in “You CAN Make it Through These Dark Times! PART 2- How to Conquer Adversity, Anxiety, and Toxic thoughts.” Remember, be keenly “aware and selective of what (or whom) you allow to validate your efforts.” But when you do record progress, celebrate it like there’s no tomorrow. To some it may seem small, but you are celebrating the fact that you made progress when many people have already given up on their goals…fourteen days into the new year.
Keep pressing and pursuing your goals this year! I have no doubt that you will be one of the success stories as you achieve whatever behemoth goal you dreamt of accomplishing. I believe in you!
Thanks for reading!