You don’t need a new plan – a reblog from Chris Brogan

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

English: New Year’s Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the final days of the year, my thoughts naturally turn to New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve blogged about resolutions numerous times over the years, including:

Thinking about my 2014 resolutions, this recent e-newsletter from Chris Brogan really struck me — because much of what I need to do in the new year isn’t to come up with a new plan, it’s to execute on the to-dos already on my list.

How about you? Do you need a new plan or do you just need to follow through on the old one in the new year?

You don’t need a new plan

It doesn’t always go the way I want it to go.

I had just finished taking some progress pictures of myself, which is how I measure my fitness improvements, and what I saw was clear: I had slipped back a notch since last month. I was puffier – fatter! – and though I saw more muscle lurking beneath it all, I wasn’t pleased that my efforts to kick bodyfat to the curb had slipped.

What happened next is the story of the last 20 or more years of my life: Oh no, I’m failing. What should I do? Quick! Scurry around. Do something new. Call an emergency play. Hope a plane and get Dr. Simpson to staple me up. Something!!! Something new!!!! Aieeee…..

You’ve done this, right? You’ve hit a wall and went into the “hurry-up-and-panic” mode. Yes? Maybe not with your health. What happened when you couldn’t pay the mortgage? What happened when you couldn’t make payroll? How did that panic drive you?

Did you throw your plan out the window?

Because that’s what I did every time I faced this kind of scenario over the last 20 years or so.

Until now.


I reviewed my fitness plans. I knew immediately what was missing:

  1. I haven’t been 100% with my water intake daily. This massively impacts weight retention.
  2. If something gets skipped in my plan, it’s cardio. I skip either on or both sessions at least three times a week.

That’s stuff that’s in the plan. The plan, as it’s written, tells me to drink my bodyweight in water in ounces every day. The plan, as it’s written, tells me to do very specific cardio exercises to burn calories while not messing up my weight training, every day. Nowhere in the plan does it say “You don’t have to do cardio today because you’ve been too busy.” I couldn’t find an asterisk beside the water intake that says “you can drink less water if you forget.” Hmmm, the plan, as it was written, was the right plan.

I had stopped following the plan.


Sometimes, it’s time to follow a new plan. Sometimes, the plan is what’s wrong. But you have to figure that out before you throw everything up in the air and run around panicking.


Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Accept that something’s not right.
  2. Quantify SPECIFICALLY what’s not right.
  3. Review the plan you’re working from. (Not working from a plan? This is the root of everything wrong. Take Put Success In Your Way and stop that!)
  4. Recommit to the plan.
  5. Set a tighter check-in timetable for at least three weeks.
  6. Review the new data.
  7. If everything’s good, carry on. Crisis averted.
  8. If everything isn’t working, review 1-6 again, and consider a new plan.

I promise you that this will save you time, effort, frustration, and annoyance. As I’m typing this, I’m drinking a very tall glass of water and the rest of the day will see a total of 256 ounces of the stuff go into me. Eight liters, give or take. 2 gallons. Do I pee a lot? I do when I’m following the plan.

Learn more about Chris Brogan and his latest project, a business magazine called Owner.


Categories: career, health and well being, lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , ,

4 replies


  1. What’s your plan for success in 2014? « Newvine Growing
  2. Resolve to do less in 2015 | Newvine Growing
  3. Make real resolutions, not empty promises, this year | Newvine Growing
  4. Resolve to build your social connections – Newvine Growing

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