How to Make Big ProgressJan 24, 2023
A blacksmith creates beautiful objects from wrought iron or steel.
He uses extreme heat to and brute force to forge the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut.
It takes work and it's tough but worth it.
Similarly, you grow most when the fire is burning hot and challenges abound.
How to Make Big Progress
I thought it would be helpful to share 20 of my best insights as you set you sights on getting leaner, stronger, and happier over the next 12 weeks.
1. Be present
I write this as number one for the simple fact that it’s my everyday reminder.
You only have today.
You can dream about the future, but you only have this moment, right now...
...and it can be taken away when you least expect it.
2. Stretch yourself
If you were to tell me 25 years ago we’d be where we are today I would have said, “no way!”
However, none of it came without an extreme amount of stretch and sacrifice.
I find that most unsuccessful people spend a majority of time in “motion” (spinning wheels, talking, planning, etc)... but never actually take action.
Of course the best plan is worthless unless you put "rubber to road" and take action.
Taking imperfect action is really all you have to do, to be successful.
Also, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward, the harder the work and the bigger the sacrifice.
You can’t want the reward without making the sacrifice.
3. Happiness is about the journey
There is no destination.
I am at my happiest when I am working on something that can never be “done.”
Let me explain.
I can never stop developing as a husband or father.
I can never stop developing as a coach, as a leader.
(It's a dangerous day when you believe there's nothing more to learn or be.)
I will never inspire positive change in everybody; however, it’s that “never ends” feeling that makes the journey so much fun.
It’s about the journey, not the destination.
4. What problem do you want?
You’ll always have problems. Me too.
More money, more time, more anything.
It doesn’t remove all our problems, it just gives us another problem.
Every year you’ll have new problems; but it’s about choosing what problems you want to keep.
5. Process-based goals
As you look to set goals... set process-based goals alongside of your outcome-based goals.
For example, set the goal of accomplishing 16 workouts per month (process) in order to lose 10 pounds (outcome).
You'll have a better chance of achieving the outcome if you can control the process.
6. Reading for the win
I don’t care if you read a physical book or listen to the audio version.
Reading every day, in my humble opinion, is non-negotiable.
It develops you, it challenges you to think differently, it builds a positive habit.
Extra bonus if reading replaces a negative habit (like watching the nightly news).
7. It’s all connected
You can’t try and isolate one thing.
You can’t try to fix one thing while ignoring the rest.
For example, if your knee hurts, you can’t just look at the knee, it’s probably being caused by something above or below.
Another example is your overall wellness.
If you loathe your job, it’s going to impact your training routine.
If you’re "so stressed out" by something, it’s going to impact your nutrition.
If your finances are not in order, well, it’s going to influence every other area of life.
If you want to truly develop as a person (think physically, emotionally, financially, etc)...
...accept the indisputable fact that that it’s all connected.
8. Find a coach
In every area of my life that’s excelling, I have a coach... and if I’m being honest, in the areas that are lacking, I don’t have a coach.
Everyone needs a coach.
You’re not better than anyone. We all need coaching.
If you want to get better at fitness and nutrition, get a coach.
If you want to get your business in order, get a coach.
If you need help with your marriage, get a coach.
Coaching will improve your life.
9. You get paid for done
Not thinking, not brainstorming... I'm talking about straight-up action.
As I mentioned earlier in this lesson... take "imperfect" action... because striving for perfection opens a whole new set of problems (like procrastination).
It amazes me, and I’m guilty of it myself, how long you may allow something to sit on your proverbial plate.
Maybe that "something" on your plate is:
*losing the last 30 pounds of bodyfat
*finishing the application for that grant
*teaching one class, within your area of expertise, at the local community college.
If you look at it, that act of finishing something is really not that big, but some folks never get it done.
The people that implement the fastest win.
10. Have a really clear vision
I'm reading a lot about visioning and I’m just cracking the surface; however, I do know one thing about visioning.
Write down (they key) where you want to be, visualize it, and then set your goals to get you there.
Most of us set goals but we don’t know where we want to be.
Figure out the vision first then work backward.
11. Write everything down
Your brain is best at creating ideas, but it’s terrible at storing ideas.
Your vision? Write it down.
Your goals? Write it down.
An idea you have? Write it down.
Did you train yesterday? Write it down.
Your business operations? Write them down.
Everything should be on paper.
The physical act of writing will allow you to comprehend better, and more importantly, you’ll have something to reference back to.
Good news: You don't need much more than an old-school composition notebook and ink pen.
12. More kindness
I’m at my best when I am kind.
The world needs more kindness. We need more kindness.
There is no negative side to being more kind.
13. More play
Having fun is a core value at Arangio Athletic Fitness.
I am at my best when things feel like play.
Playing with my kids, having fun with my family and my team.
Truth be told, my work feels like play.
You need to put your head down and work sometimes, but if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?
14. Be curious
Immerse yourself in anything you want to learn.
Get curious and then go all in.
Do you want to learn more about a person or a thing? Ask questions.
Are you furious at someone or something? Get curious.
We could all benefit from being more curious.
15. Have some values
As you grow and improve, something interesting happens...
...you'll have more and more "golden" opportunities.
As a result of these favorable circumstances, you can become stretched thin.
I can't begin to tell you how many conversations I've had with clients over the years.
The ones that are uber successful at their jobs.
They say things like, "I have the golden opportunity to be the national sales director for my company. I get a bigger salary and stock options."
When in actuality they're saying, "I have this golden opportunity to work 90 hours per week, see my family less than I already do, and gain 30 pounds of bodyfat in the process... thanks to high stress and constant travel."
Know your values, know what you stand for.
Your values become your guardrails so you know what to say "yes" to, and more importantly, you know when it's time to say "no."
If something is a priority, say "yes"... otherwise it's "no thank you."
16. I can’t
You can, you just may not want to put in the work, and that’s okay... but you can if you want to.
You can if it's a priority.
If you truly want something bad enough you’ll find a way.
Once again, if it's a priority for you, say “I can."
17. I wish
That's the biggest phrase I work to avoid.
I wish I went on that trip. I wish I tried that adventure. I wish I made that career jump.
When I'm 95 years old and sitting in a rocking chair (hopefully with Sharon in the chair next to me), I can only ask for one thing... no regrets.
I did everything I could to make an impact and leave a legacy.
I don't want to say "I wish."
Here’s to no regrets this year.
18. Stop comparing
We all have our own visions, our own goals, our own things that make us happy.
Some want a big house to host family dinners, some want an efficient home without unnecessary square footage.
Some want to travel the world... and some want to stick close to your home base.
Some want to have six-pack abs, others just want to feel better.
You’ll have your best year ever if you stop comparing yourself to others.
19. Awareness is key
The more self-aware you can be about yourself, how you tick, the better you’ll be.
Also, having the awareness to realize you don’t know what you don’t know... that's key.
It takes humility to understand that there are areas beyond your expertise.
And finally, the awareness of what you’re saying and doing, and how others are perceiving it. This is massive.
20. A few percent better
This is the motto I live by.
Every day I try to be a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better business owner, and a better leader.
One or two percent better every day.
It keeps me hungry yet humble. It's everything.
This year will have highs, and it will have lows... but ultimately it will be your best year yet if you just try to get a little better every day.
Realize that success is never a straight line and that you determine what success looks like.
I’m excited to learn, grow, and be humbled alongside you.
Taking the time to read what I write means you said "no" to something else, and for that, I’m honored.
I hope I have made a small positive change in your life... that's my mission.
To your success,
Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.