How to Plan Your Growth

5.1 Success is rarely an accident in any endeavor. Success in the gym is never a hit or miss activity. It is planned. If you put together an intelligent program, tailor it according to your own limitations, follow it diligently and conscientiously for long enough, and fully satisfy your rest, sleep and nutritional needs, then you will get much bigger and stronger muscles. Sensible weight-training programs work. But too few people know what sensible programs are, and too few trainees are targeted at specific goals by a specific time.

A. Strategies for the Long Term

5.2 ^e need to focus on the now—today—is the building block for long-term success. Not living in the past, and not living in the future, but riveting most of your attention on the present is the only way to make sure you get most if not all of your "todays" in good order. If you do not get the daily units right, you do not have a hope of long-term success.

5.3 ^ere is a strong connection between the daily units and your long-term goals. Getting the latter in good order provides the overall strategy into which the daily units slot. Regular reminders of the long-term programming keep you on track for getting the daily units right.

5.4 Competitive athletes have a major advantage over non-competitive ones. ^at is the motivating, focusing, pressurizing and concrete-goals-creating effect of competition. ^e need to be your best at a certain date and place will dramatically focus your attention, and force you to be more efficient with your time. Without a definite where and when to be at your best, human nature makes most people casual with their time. You may take years to get to where you could have gotten in just six months had you been nailed down to a rigorous schedule to get things done on time.

5.5 Deadlines are imperative for making people take action, in all areas of life. Consider how many things you need to do but have been procrastinating for weeks because you do not have a fixed deadline to do them by. But give something a deadline and urgency, and it usually gets done.

5.6 Nail yourself to long-term deadlines. Make your goals specific by writing down numbers and deadlines, for example. ^en nail yourself to the daily must-dos in order to keep on schedule for reaching the long-term goals.

5.7 ^ere is nothing like the urgency of concentrating on a specific goal by a specific deadline to focus attention, application and resolve. Without something specific to rally attention and resources, people tend to drift along and never get even close to realizing their potential. As the months go by there is little or no improvement.

5.8 Set the goal(s), make your plans, focus your application, dedicate yourself, and then start making month-by-month improvement a reality. And then when you have achieved your medium or long-term goal(s), do it all over again, and then again, and again. ^en you will set yourself up to achieve more over the next twelve months than perhaps you achieved over the previous few years. And whatever you learn from the value of nailing yourself to targets and deadlines in the physique and strength spheres, apply it to the rest of your life.

5.9 ^ere are deadline situations that can rivet attention just as well as formal bodybuilding or lifting competition. Some of them may seem too simple, or even trite, but they work if you work.

TACTIC #1

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