Last year I wrote a book on goal setting.  I am now in the process of editing that book.  As I edit, I will post excerpts here on my blog.  This is from chapter two:

I need help hitting my goals.  Where do I get help?

I have some good news and I have some bad news.  Both are summed up in one sentence.

You are on your own.

I can set fitness goals for you.  I can.  I can draw up an amazing plan.   

And, nothing will happen.

The truth is, I cannot do your pushups for you.  No one can do your pushups for you.  You must do your own pushups.

The same applies to goals.

To hit your goals, you must take action.  You must move.  You must do something.

I wanted to become an author.  I thought about if for years.  For years, nothing happened.

Then, one day, I decided to start writing.  I started writing every day.  For one hour.  You are reading the results.

Until I took action, nothing happened

I can show you how to set goals.  But, you must take action toward your goals.  I can not hit your goals for you.  Only you can hit your goals.

The good news is also the bad news.  You are on your own.


What if I get discouraged?

I get this one.  Man, oh man, do I get this one.

I have faced discouragement more times than I care to remember.

That all changed when I learned to trust the process.  The process will carry you through.

I rarely feel like going to the gym.  On the days I do not want to go, I go anyway.  I hate every minute of it.

And, yet, I go.  I lift weights and trust the process.

I almost never feel like writing.  For me, writing is a chore.

Six days a week, I set a timer and I write.  I write whether or not I feel like writing.  I am doing it right now.  I am writing because for one hour a day, I write.

Do not listen to your discouragement.  Whatever it is you are facing, do it.  Do it so that you can check off a little box on your checklist.

Do it every day.  Trust the process.  The process will carry you to your goal.


What if I don’t hit every item on my checklist? 

You will not hit every item on your daily checklist.

I do not hit every item on my daily checklist.

I still have most of my checklists.  They cover more than a decade of my life.  (I have been using checklists for longer, but I did not begin hanging on to those checklists until a decade ago.)

Thumbing through my checklists, I can tell you this.  I hit all the items on my checklist about 40% of the time.

40%.  That’s it.  Were my checklists a class in school, I would be failing.

Maybe my checklists are too long.

Or, maybe they are too ambitious.

But, I can tell you this, Because I have used checklists, I have accomplished far more than I would have accomplished without them.   


The Path to Freedom

Maybe you are thinking, “I don’t want to be a slave to a checklist!”

I get that.  I used to feel that way, too.

Then one day, I read this:  Freedom is on the other side of discipline.   

I am typing this sentence from an overlook in the Rocky Mountains.  I spent the morning biking around Grand Lake, Colorado.

Now, I am resting and watching a thunderstorm roll across Shadow Mountain Lake

I am spending a week in the mountains doing one of my favorite things, mountain biking.

I am free to do this because, for years, I disciplined myself to stick to a checklist.  For years, I made myself do what I did not want to do.

Now, I have the freedom to do what I want to do.

Freedom was on the other side of discipline.   

Zig Ziglar used to say that discipline is doing what you have to do whether you want to do it or not.

He often said that if you are easy on yourself, life will be hard on you.  But, if you are tough on yourself, life becomes infinitely easier on you.

If you force yourself to write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on those plans every single day, you will hit your goals.

Do that, and maybe I will see you out here on the trails someday.


Almost every Saturday, I send out a Tip of the Week.  It’s just something I have picked up along the way that may make your life a little easier.  If you would like to hear from me (almost) every Saturday, just go to the home page of my site and plug in your name and email.   You will also get a free copy of my book on learning Latin (and almost anything else).  Just go here:

If you are interested in learning Latin, you can go through the classes on my site 24/7.  I recommend the book Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.  If you tackle the book and find yourself bogged down, you may find the classes on my site helpful.  To join, just click here:

If you want a more professionally filmed experience, check out the best-selling DVD series: Visual Latin.

Or, if you want to skip Latin, and just jump right into learning English words from Latin and Greek roots, you may enjoy the series Word Up!  Warning.   Word Up! is a bit wacky.  You will learn a lot… but, you may find yourself rolling your eyes, too.

By the way, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Not trying to pull a fast one on you. I only promote what I believe in.