I love Mondays!
I know. That sounds odd. But I do. Mondays are a clean slate each and every week. They are like a weekly New Year’s Day. To a goal-oriented person, a clean slate is loaded with opportunity. I’ve always said that someday I was going to write a book entitled “I love Mondays.” The title alone I think would make people pick it up just to investigate what would no doubt seem to many to be a weird statement. Of course, it helps a lot if you love what you do. And I do!
Make Sure You Are on The Right Path
Mondays are my day each week to set course. To get on The Path. Make a compass check. I don’t make phone calls before 1pm, and I kind of resent hearing my phone ring before then. I figure that everyone else is lining things up for the week at that time too, so I try to respect that. Monday afternoons I make appointments with people – and schedule tasks – for the upcoming week, month, year, etc. All this is part of what I call “A Standard Day.” I give each day a Purpose – a Mission Statement. Mondays are for setting course, and it’s also why I have staff training on Monday afternoons and why I coach on those evenings … so I can help Treadstone’s Tribe start the week off well too. Tuesdays and Thursdays are office days in the mornings and meeting days in the afternoon … and then are my climbing workout nights. Wednesdays are for writing new material for my businesses. I try to get away to a quiet place and write policies and procedures, website content, create new classes, write staff training outlines, etc … and then put all of that into our resources package for systemization. Fridays are for meetings until about 4pm, and then I transition into Family Time. Pizza Friday night is an institution in our home, and there’s usually a movie involved. Friday also happens to be my “treat day” where I eat and drink whatever I feel like having. Saturdays are for climbing outside, hiking with the family and friends, riding bikes, doing a race, etc. Sundays are for Church, Church Family, and corporately reflecting upon God. Every morning is for getting up early, personal reflection time, and a general workout. One weekend a month, my family works at The Gym, so that we know the weekend crowd as well as the weekday crowd.
The word “discipline” gets a bad rap these days. It carries the connotation of a monastic strictness that nullifies creativity and fun. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. I’ve found that Scripting my life liberates me. It intentionally sets aside time for creativity so that it happens. And it removes a lot of the anxiety that most everyone feels when they think about all they have to get done. I used to have a lot more of that anxiety than I do now. When a task would present itself, I used to – almost frantically – drop everything I was already doing and tackle it instead so that I wouldn’t miss out. I think nearly everyone can relate to that. Of course, the irony is that when you do that, you just add more things to the list of what gets dropped. By contrast, today when an opportunity or task presents itself, I can ask myself “what day coming up does this best fit into?” Then I can put it on my calendar and plan the work for that upcoming day. Rarely is it true that you will lose a client, for example, if your response is: “I can get that proposal to you Tuesday afternoon.” Or “I can’t meet today, but I can meet on Thursday.” Of course, emergencies arise, but fewer things are truly emergencies than we think when we just go where the winds take us.
Of Course I Go Off Script When I Need To
The “Standard Day” Script is the daily nuts and bolts of what I have come to call “The Path.” The Path is my strategic, big picture planning for each area of life – and yes, I do have a name for each area. But none of this meant to enshrine The Script. You have to stay flexible and not become dogmatic. If I get a phone call on Monday morning from someone I need to talk with, I answer it. If a client says that Wednesday is the only day (s)he can meet, I go. If my Aunt Connie offers me a good desert on a Saturday, I don’t refuse it. If a conference or a site visit falls on one of my Fridays, well … you get the idea. The point is to have a plan. A Path. Yes, the plan can be altered. The Main Path can have branches you discover along the way, but they should not be allowed to make you lose sight of your eventual destination. Mike Tyson says “everyone has a plan – until they get punched in the face.” In the Army they say “no plan survives first contact.” All true, but I like best what Winston Churchill said: “It may well be that no plan survives first contact, but those who have one tend to fare better than those who do not.” The Army goes off script too. In fact, they plan on it. Much like a contractor’s “Change Order,” the Army has what it calls a “Fragmentary Order” – the beloved “FRAGO!” in the G.I. lingo. It is a systemized way of altering an existing plan. Systemized, so that everyone on the team can stay on the same page – even when things “go pear-shaped.”
Goal Setting Requires a Plan – A Path to be on
It is said that goals are dreams with deadlines. Dave Ramsey adds that that goals are dreams with work boots on. Sarah Ban Breathnach said that “the world needs dreamers and the world needs doers; but most of all the world needs dreamers who do.” Despite what we often hear, it is not enough to “want it bad enough.” If you asked every person on Earth if they would like to have the body of an Olympic athlete, they would all say yes. What makes the real difference? 1). Knowing decisively where you want to go 2). Making a plan to get there. 3). Being able to take action on the plan in an intentional, disciplined, Persistent way. 4). Being able to honestly evaluate your past actions so that they inform your future ones. 5). Building a great team to help you do all of the above.
You don’t get a college degree by getting up in the morning, and wondering aloud which classes you feel like attending that day, and you don’t build a fit body by wandering around a weight room sampling random exercises. College, for example, takes at least a four year Plan – A Path. The rest of our life is no different, yet many people stop living intentionally sometime after school is finished. They may take a new job that moves their family to a new state – just to get a $15,000 pay raise – without ever asking “does this fit my life plan?” Do you have one? Do you have a Mission Statement for each area of your life? Your Family? Your career? Howabout your emotional life? And – of course you knew I was going to say … your physical fitness goals.
Meet Paul, who started climbing at Treadstone six months ago with his family of seven. I’ll bet he wasn’t thinking – when this photo was shot – that he’d be a fitness model by 2017, but he’s lost over 50 pounds since this was taken! He’s also the featured climber at the start of this post.
2017 Can Be a New Start, with some new Tools and New Classes
New Year is when nearly everyone thinks about new beginnings. I’m writing this because I want to help. I don’t have all the answers, but I have developed some that have worked well for us, and it would just be selfish not to share them with you. That’s why I started a Gym – to help others get where they want to go. The fact that climbing is fun makes it one of the best ways to stick to a fitness Plan.
Every year, I also make The Christmas / New Year season a personal break from rigorous fitness goals. I still do CST twice a week. I still run most every day. I still climb every chance I get. But I’m also eating Holiday food, and I intentionally plan to not have a plan for about two weeks when the family time, travel, and shopping take priority. But through it all, I keep in mind what I call “D Day” every year. This year it falls on January 3 (my sister’s birthday, by the way). It’s the day when all the Holiday festivities are done with, and it’s time to get back on The Path. Time to “Start with Why” for each area of life, set or alter long range goals, and then backwards plan back to what to do about it today. This morning. I have it written out, and I will make it available here for you as a fill-in-the-blank planner that I will post at 5:14am on December 30. Come D Day I will be at Treadstone, conducting several group workouts, hosting fitness experts from the area in our new Fitness Studio – in Area 5 next door to the Climbing and Parkour Gyms. Area 5 is a 4,000 square foot Fitness Floor that we have been renovating. Tune in here every morning for more details about the D Day workouts, exciting new classes, our best membership deals of the year, and how we can help you too. What I post here, I will also copy to the website and on the Facebook Page, every morning until D Day. See you there!