Week 24/52: Seven Steps to Success

einstein bicycle quote



Last month, I attended a big Visalus event in Houston and had the privelage to listen to John C. Maxwell speak. I knew that he was highly regarded as a person who taught leadership and personal growth, but I was blown away at his message.  Since then, I’ve been delving more and more into his work. His “Seven Steps to Success” caught my attention. As I read and ruminated over them for some time, I wanted to share my thoughts.

First let me say “positive thinking” and “motivation” are not new concepts. You can find them all over the internet. But none of this does any good if you don’t ACT on it.  As my friend Martin Rooney says, “Knowledge is not power… Knowledge + ACTION = Power.”

John C. Maxwell’s Seven Steps to Success
1) Make a commitment to grow daily.

This is probably one of the harder things for me to do. It requires self motivation and having a plan of attack. How will I grow? What will I do? In what areas do I need to grow most?

2) Value the process more than events.

This is pretty common in the fitness world, to say that  it’s about “the journey, not the destination.”  Regardless of the context, it’s true. Take note of each process, every step along the way and how you change and grow.

3) Don’t wait for inspiration.

Being a coach and trainer for years, I’ve had hundreds of people say to me, “Hey Julia, I’m ready for you to motivate me to get back into the gym!” or “Whenever I see those fitness pictures, it inspires me to workout.” Sorry to break the news, but I could drag you by your ears and it doesn’t mean that any motivation will be there. Looking at hundreds of fitness memes a day don’t “inspire” you unless you take action. I have found that I seek out inspiration…. I don’t wait for it to come to me. If quotes and pictures and friends inspire you, then by all means USE them, but the key here is to go FIND them.

4) Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.

There are always moments in my day where I would rather (fill in the blank) than write an article, follow up some emails, or make some phone calls. But when opportunity strikes, I am working on recognizing those opportunities and making the most of them. The pleasure of watching a True Blood marathon can be sacrificed for the opportunities that I know lie ahead. One of the biggest sacrifices I made was to take a weekend trip to Westside Barbell in Columbus, OH for a seminar with Dave Tate. Sacrificing the weekend, the time and the money (although I now look at it as an investment) made the biggest turn around in my career both professionally and personally.

5) Dream big.

You’ve never heard that before, right? (Insert sarcasm.)  But seriously, do you dream big? Do you have dreams BIGGER than you can put into words? I do. And every day I envision them. It took me 15 years to finally be in a position to have one of my dreams come true, but I always have dreams bigger.

6) Plan your priorities.

Planning. I admit I’m pretty terrible at it and tend to do best under pressure. But if you lay out (write out) your priorities, then you’ll know what lies ahead. What’s your greatest priority for this hour? Mine is to finish this post and promote the social media heck out of it. What’s my priority next hour? And the rest of the day? And tomorrow?

7) Give up to go up.

There are always sacrifices. There’s a fine balance between “giving up” certain things in our lives to “go big.”  For me, I know the one thing I will never give up is the integrity of my family.  But what else can I give up to go up? Sleeping in? Turning off distractions during work?  Be honest with yourself here… it’s easy to say we are “sooooo busy”, but there is always something we can give up to go up.


What have you taken from this list? What can you work on better? And how can I help? 

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