My buddy Drew is an excellent weightlifter. He has finished as high as 4th at the national championships, has worked directly with Olympians, and routinely delivers Olympic weightlifting seminars through his work at Columbus Weightlifting.

One day, Drew and I were in the gym when he told me about a group of athletes he was training.

The athletes wanted to get stronger and Drew designed a program to help them do that. When he checked back a few weeks later, however, Drew found out that very few of them had stuck to the program. Instead, most of them had returned to endurance training.

Now the athletes were frustrated because they still weren’t getting stronger.

Drew finished telling me the story by saying…

I looked at them and said, “When you want to cook something, do you follow the recipe?”

Of course you do.

If you want to bake a cake, then bake the damn cake. Don’t cook a chicken and yell at it for not being a fish.

You say you want to get stronger. Are you following a recipe that will get you there?

You say you want to lose weight. Are you following a recipe that will get you there?

You say you want to build a business or write a book or travel somewhere new. Are you following a recipe that will get you there?

Finish Something

Now, I’m not a fan of doing the same thing over and over again when it doesn’t work. (If it’s a bad recipe, why cook it twice?) But there is a big difference between a bad recipe and an unfinished recipe. The truth is, like the athletes in the story above, you and I often change course halfway through the recipe and never give ourselves the chance to see results.

Examples include…

  • Working out for a month and then trying something new because “this isn’t working for me.”
  • Jumping from project to project, half-finishing all of them, and completing none of them.
  • Mapping out a business idea, working on it for a week or two, and then putting it on the shelf because “things got busy.”

Switching your workout program after three weeks because you’re “not seeing results” is like mixing flour and eggs and then quitting because it doesn’t look like a cookie yet.

You have to be patient enough to finish the recipe if you want to see the results. Give your success time to cook. Follow the recipe and finish something.

This article was originally published on