I remember distinctly the moment I decided to pursue the goal of doing 100 consecutive pushups.
I was at the gym. With my brother-in-law. And I asked him how many pushups I should be able to do.
He told me that at his jiu-jitsu group, they did 100 pushups. For warmup.
At that point, I decided I had to be able to do 100 pushups.
It became my goal. My obsession. I had to find a way to do it.
So I did what anybody wanting to do something does.
Find an app.
I download the “Just Six Weeks” 100 pushups app onto my iPhone. And off I went.
When I first started out, I could barely do 10 pushups. My arms would give out and my face would slam onto the floor.
At one point I was doing pushups with my knees down. And still struggled.
But I kept at it.
Day after day, week after week, month after month.
I went from barely being able to do 10 pushups consecutively, to being able to do 50. So I’m halfway to reaching my goal.
(Today I did 125 pushups — in five sets.)
Crazy Goals (like 100 pushups)
So let’s say you have a crazy goal. One you become absolutely obsessed to achieve.
And let’s say it’s a long shot for you to accomplish that goal. At least in the near future.
How do you tackle it?
Whether it’s paying off your debt. Saving money. Buying a house. Investing. Opening a business. Running a marathon.
What do you need to do to get started?
The Starting Point
The first thing you do to get started is to know what you want to do.
You have to be absolutely clear about it.
I wanted to do 100 pushups. That’s it.
Knowing what you want to do, you’ll need to put together the tools that will allow you to get started in achieving your goals.
Have a simple plan. In this case, I downloaded an app that told me how many pushups I had to do, when, and for how long.
I kept working at it. And you should too.
Gradually doing more and more, increasing your efforts, to achieve your goal. It’s called…
…which means “a gradual increase in volume, intensity, frequency or time to achieve the targeted goal.
I first learned about this term from my personal trainer.
Although it’s a term specifically used in fitness and training, you can apply it to pretty much everything you do in life.
Take paying off debt as an example. If you want to pay off your debt, you start with knowing that it is what you want to do.
Then you come up with a plan.
Using progressive overload as a concept, perhaps you start paying off your lower debt balances first. Then increase the volume, paying off higher balances. You can work on intensity, meaning paying debt off aggressively. Frequency — making more than one payment per month to chip away at your debt faster. Or time, quickly paying off as much debt as you can in the shortest amount of time possible.
How about saving up a downpayment for your home?
You could start with a simple plan of setting aside a portion of your pay cheque to use as a downpayment. Then you start increasing the amount you’re saving. Perhaps taking an extra job or project to increase the intensity of how much you’re saving.
Time Makes You Stronger
The longer you let progressive overload work to help you achieve your goals, the stronger you’ll get. It just takes time.
Doing 100 pushups (even in sets of five) didn’t happen for me overnight. And there were some days (as you see on the graph above) that I actually performed less than my previous attempts.
But then you’ll see the big jumps. Where the line starts to skyrocket on the chart, shooting previous records.
As you pay down your debt, save up money for your house, start your business, get fit — whatever it is you want to do, the more you commit to overloading yourself over time, the closer you’ll get to not only achieving your goals, but to growing stronger and expanding your achievements.
Sky’s The Limit
You start to get excited. Motivated. Engaged. And you realize you’re capable of so much more.
I’m halfway to achieving my 100-consecutive-pushups goal. And the more I progressively overload myself, I realize that sky’s the limit.
Because I’ve come to the realization that pursuing something as simple as this improves other aspects of my life.
Habits. Discipline. Pursuit for the sake of achievement.
When you start to see the results — no matter what you’re pursuing — you start to realize that sky’s the limit, and there’s so much more you can do.
So… what goal are you aggressively pursuing?