by Niall Doherty

A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. – paraphrasing George Patton

There’s this trainer at the gym I go to. He’s in excellent shape, well built, and he regularly drops snide comments in my direction.

I show up at the gym after a four-day absence: “Long time.”

I work out for half an hour and get ready to leave: “Finished already?”

His remarks are accompanied by subtle eye rolls and head shakes, communicating his belief that I’m a green fool with a bad fitness plan.

And you know what? He might be right.

Regardless, I keep showing up once every four days, working out for only a half-hour at a time, and shrugging off whatever soft jabs this dude sends my way.

Ignoring Good Advice

Since announcing my muscle-building challenge a few weeks back, I’ve received dozens of emails and comments from people offering me advice on how to bulk-up. And just like the trainer at the gym, many of these folks know what they’re talking about. All of them are in good shape. Some of them are fitness professionals. Others have achieved aims similar to mine.

And yet I’ve pretty much ignored everything they’ve told me.

Not that I don’t appreciate them taking the time. Not that I believe those tips won’t work for me.

It’s just that I already have a plan, and I’m going to see it through.

A few weeks from now, after giving this first plan a legitimate shot, I may find myself falling well short of my goal. And then, sure, I’ll move on and try something else.

But not until then.

The way I see it, I’m better off sticking to one imperfect plan than trying to come up with some kind of perfect frankenstein plan based on everyone’s recommendations. The latter would just leave me confused and frustrated, constantly adding new pieces to the puzzle but never sticking with any one piece long enough to see if it really fits.

By ignoring everyone and sticking to one plan, as imperfect as it may be, I at least get to find out a few things for sure.

One Plan At A Time

Many of us have this obsession about doing things right the first time, because we’re terrified that we might take the wrong path, waste our time, and look foolish in front of others.

Here’s the thing though: we’re so concerned about making mistakes that we either never do anything, or we try to do everything. Neither extreme works out well. Better off picking one focused approach that you can believe in and stick with it for a while.

And when everyone and their trainer’s grandma advises you to change course, just smile polite and hold steady. Don’t switch it up until you’re good and ready.