HomeMotivationChasing Your Goals, The Grind & The 5 Year Rule

Chasing Your Goals, The Grind & The 5 Year Rule

If you're reading this chances are you have a hefty goal or a future vision of where you want to be.
You may be amidst building your empire right now, or perhaps you're still in the planning phase... regardless of where you are this is relevant to you.

People are impatient creatures.

I'm impatient.

You're impatient.

We want results and confirmation of the effort we're exerting, regardless of whether this is on the bench press or the boardroom.

Results follow action.

You NEVER get rewarded first.

Put in the work today, reap the rewards tomorrow. That's how it works.

5 year rule

It's all about the long game baby

I recently read an article titled '5-Year Commitments' by Steve Pavlina - looking at society today, my own journey as well as those (successful) individuals around me it got me thinking...

If you want to attain mastery in a skill or endeavour you have to understand that it's going to take time.

How long?

Roughly 5 years to become great. If you're setting out to transform your physique or build a business you better commit 5 years to it or you're wasting your time.
Don't spend your time chopping and changing from one grand idea to the next every 6 months. That's a severe case of fuckarounditis.

See also
What's Your WHY?

How often do you get told it's going to take 5 years?


Internet marketers, shady advertising campaigns and infomercials are all targeting our lethargic nature "Get Shredded In 2 Weeks With The Deadline Diet" or "Build Passive Income & Fire Your Boss Within 3 Months!"

A quick fix!

That's rubbish.

Anything worth having takes time. If it didn't we'd all be walking around ripped to shreds with six figure annual profit margins.
It doesn't take long to become overweight, unhealthy or unemployed though (and look at society today...).

As Steve Pavlina says in his article  "The first year of any new commitment is invariably the most awkward. Your skills are weakest then. You don’t know what you’re doing. You make a lot of mistakes."

Don't get discouraged - you build momentum as time goes on...

"However, that 5th year of 5 is typically when you enjoy the best results."

Honestly, the hardest part is getting started. Going through those first few workouts, setting up the backend to your new website or awkwardly attending those first few Toastmaster's meetings - as time goes on you realize you've made many a mistake along the way, you weren't doing things as efficiently as you could have. You pivot, adapt and continue to learn... never stopping the grind as momentum is key.

See also
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect & The Fallacy of Failure

Picture a freight train, idly cruising out of the station. That's you during year one. Unfortunately 99% of people get discouraged by this lack of speed and progress.

They want to be at their destination (end goal) right now. So they quit and get on the next train in an ongoing cycle bound for mediocrity. They never get far.

Come the fifth year that freight train of yours will be powering downhill through each station (defined goals) unstoppable. Its built up a large supply of momentum

Read books on just about anyone that attained massive success in the eyes of society..

Or look at those successful people that you know personally or know of, I do not know anyone that struck it big immediately (and maintained their position and momentum).

The men I listed above have all reached the echelon of success. They've made it.

People call them lucky, people are bitter that they were in the right place at the right time, that the stars aligned for these few individuals and the universe moved out of their way.

What they don't see is the relentless work ethic day after day after day.

They took a lesson from Alexander The Great and burned their boats - they succeeded out of need. There was no want, there was no "I think I might do X". A large number of the worlds best athletes came from absolutely nothing. They had nothing to lose - they went all in and grinded each single day for in excess of five years. They didn't care how long it took. They didn't have one eye on the clock like we do today.

See also
Start your Day with Greatness

You have to play the long game if you ever want to achieve anything worthwhile. You have to see what you're doing as being worthwhile. Make sure it is.

Could I see myself still working away aimlessly in the pet food factory? No. That's why I'm no longer there.

Ignore Limits is my passion, I've been here just shy of one year now and I cannot wait to see how much traction and momentum we've built come that five year mark.

I don't like leaving a post vague...

Here are my actionable tips for staying true to the course.

Routine & Habits

Implement habits into your life that are in line with your goals.
Practise your habits daily and 'stack' habits together.

To give fitness advice to others I need to be in the best shape possible.

My morning 'health & fitness' habit stack consists of:

Cold showering
Foam rolling/mobility drills
Heavy compound lifts

I perform the above immediately upon waking without hesitation.
Habits become engrained.

Every Day

Work. Every single day.

Do something that will bring you a step closer to your goals.
No, i'm not telling you to spend every waking hour on your body/business.

But ask yourself 'What can I do today that will take me a step closer to X'.

See also
Relaxed Intensity - The Key To Triumph Over Adversity

Some days this may be as small of a task as foam rolling or preparing your meals, or perhaps it's writing 5 pages for your book.
Do something.

Measure Everything

Progress is without a doubt the best motivator.
This is why you should be measuring and recording everything of importance.

I spent the first few years in the gym without giving an ounce of thought to the weights I lifted the previous session, I was all over the place.
Do it right, record things from the get-go.

Record your workouts, record how many visitors you're getting to your website on a daily basis.
When you're discouraged in year two or three of the five year journey take a moment to look back. You'll be amazed at how far you've come - you'll be compelled to keep moving forward.

Understand The Definition Of Insanity

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."

If something isn't working then it's time to pivot, alter, change or remove.

Don't just continue to do it, get frustrated and then quit shortly afterwards.

See also
Blast and Cruise Goal Setting - Achieve Your Goals With Laser Focus

SJ's Closing Thoughts...

Time is the most precious commodity we have. It takes time to accomplish or build anything of value - no ifs or buts about it whatsoever.

Television, internet marketers and salesmen all push the convenience factor, the path of least resistance and the ease of access when marketing a product, whether this be a get rich quick type deal or a 'revolutionary' workout regime.

"If you don't know who the sucker in the room is you're the sucker".

A passion, five years and a bunch of hard work is the real 'secret sauce'.

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!

Related Articles