We all have targets in our lives. We call them goals, dreams, and aspirations. Some of us know exactly what we want in fine detail. Some of us kind of know what we want, but haven’t clarified exactly what it is.
I suggest that you spend some time with a pen and paper or on a word document and figure out your target. Have fun with it. Choose a target that would transform your life the most. Everyone will have a different target, so trust that the specific target that you choose is accurate.
Your target can change over time, but for now, choose one that moves you the most. Commit to a worthy target that stretches you and makes you feel uncomfortable. Attacking your target is by no means easy, but will make you a better human being for it.
My target is to take daily action on at least one task that is very hard, yet will move my life and business forward most powerfully. Right now, that is migrating my website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.It’s the most uncomfortable thing for me to do today, but long-term, this action will make my life, my client’s lives and my business significantly better.
I believe that most of us want to attain our targets, but so-called obstacles get in the way. These obstacles are usually fear-based. There could be a fear that the target is unattainable. Maybe there is a fear that the work may just be too hard and desired results may take too long to achieve. For some, there may be a fear of putting their reputation on the line, where they might experience failure, which could hurt their ego.
Another obstacle is the desire of clinging to comfort. Challenging targets require us to grow beyond where we are now, so they are naturally hard and uncomfortable. It would be like going from a warm, comfy bed with big fluffy pillows to sleeping on the hard floor, pillowless, in a constricting sleeping bag or going from taking hot showers to only cold ones. We, humans, tend to like it comfortable.
The Ordinary Approach to Attaining a Target
Because of our desire to cling to comfort and run from fear, we usually approach our goals, dreams, and aspirations very slowly. We talk about them. Our flights of fancy come and go, imagining what life would be like actually realizing our dream.
There are some of us that actually do something to hit our target. Of course, we are all different in our approaches, but the majority of us take more time than necessary to attain our goals. Projects, that if focused on intently could be done in one day, may take an entire week to complete. Or something, like losing 5kg (10lbs) of fat, that could easily be accomplished in two months, may take us a year or more to achieve.
The Brad Pitt Approach to Attacking a Target
Now we get to the Extraordinary Way to Attaining Targets! And our spokesman for this way is none other than Brad Pitt, who plays the role of the Hero Achilles in the movie Troy.
This is a scene from the movie Troy which beautifully and succinctly expresses how to fearlessly and immediately attack a target without an ounce of hesitation when we commit to it.
I love this scene because it demonstrates how we can run, full speed ahead toward our fears, minimizing the time and toil between what we are aiming for and the actual achievement of that aim. Being a hero is hard. It’s uncomfortable and there is a chance of losing, so it requires ample courage and self-belief.
Tatoo Achilles’ Hero Mindset to Your Brain and Tackle Your Target!
Once you have clarified your target, call forth your inner Achilles, go straight to the battlefield and attack!!
The definition of ‘Sliver’ I am using here is: a small and narrow portion. The idea came from the smallest weight plate I have in my gym – 0.5kg (1.1lb).
What is The Sliver Strategy?
The Sliver Strategy is a simple plan that:
takes you from where you are now to where you want to be – towards a worthy goal
is set up in progressive increments that are mere slivers (very small and seemingly insignificant up close)
is wise and sustainable over time
Rushing is Not Recommended
In my younger years, when I had a goal, I would rush to get to a destination as fast as possible. This approach often wasn’t effective. Sometimes I would end up quitting on route to the goal. In athletic endeavors, sometimes I would even end up injured due to lack of patience with the process.
Being Patience with the Process
I find that many people approach training, muscle gain and fat loss in an impatient way. They want to attain a goal as quickly as possible. I understand this feeling. I also know that a solid plan with a growth mindset, consistent work and heaps of patience is the best strategy.
An Intelligent Approach to Training
I will share an approach that was inspired by my client Amol Verma, who embodies patience, a growth mindset and consistent work at a very deep level. This is a man who is focused and patient. You can learn more about his approach here in this previous post.
Making Progress on a Key Exercise
I love facing the Barbell Deadlift on ‘Deadlift Day’ once per week. It tests my full-body strength and makes me harder to kill:-) I do 5 reps at about 87% of my 1 rep maximum. That means it’s damn hard in terms of intensity. I take a 2-minute rest between sets and do 5 sets total. So the entire workout on “Deadlift Day” consists of a warm-up, 5 sets of 5 reps with 2-minutes rest between sets. The total reps I aim to complete on ‘Deadlift Day’ is 25. Today that weight was 102.5kg (225lbs). I completed all 25 reps, which is a total of 2,565kg (5,637lbs), in about 25 minutes. Since I completed all 25 reps, I ‘earn the right’ to increase the weight next week when I face the Barbell Deadlift again on ‘Deadlift Day’.
The numbers below the bubbles (5,4,2,3) were what I completed the week prior when I attempted and failed to complete 5 reps per set.
Progressing One Sliver at a Time
Normally I progress my clients at 2.5kg (5lbs) per session when they ‘earn the right’ to progress on a compound movement like the deadlift. For myself, I have decided to progress myself 1kg (2.2lbs) at a time. Here is what 1.25kg (2.5lb) plates look like in comparison to 0.5kg (1lb) plates.
One sliver of progress looks pretty insignificant, right? Well, this small sliver of a plate, increased each week over time, adds up to nearly 50kg (110lbs) in a year’s time. I may not progress every week, but if I do, that is a very significant improvement in my strength in 365 days.
102.5kg (225lbs) completed this week earns me the right to face 103.5kg (228lbs) next week
How Can You Work The Sliver Strategy in Your Life?
I have used an example of a training goal that literally uses slivers, in the form of 0.5kg plates, as an incremental progress measure. I challenge you to think through and use ‘The Sliver Strategy’ in your own life with a goal that you want to progress. You can achieve your fat loss goal one sliver at a time. Here is a previous post that may help. Improving your health in slivers of healthy habits is completely in your hands. Here is a previous post on walking that may help. You can read a book and applying the knowledge therein as a sliver of wisdom.
It will take a growth mindset, setting up consistent work through “The Sliver Strategy’ based on consistent work and patience to get you to your goal. Good things usually take time and consistent effort. You can do it. Plan it and get to work.
If you get stuck, give me a shout. I may have some good ideas for you.