How To Exponentially Accelerate Your Progress

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The Factors That Affect Progress

I’m big into taking personality tests because they help understand who I am, and particularly I like DISC. After taking the test, I found out I was Conscientious as my primary personality, which means I like to plan things out. My secondary personality is Dominance, which makes me very good at executing tasks that I set my mind to. Like with a lot of stuff, people are not 100% something. They are usually a blend, which helps create a person’s personality.


Genetics are only part of the equation that makes up a person. Environmental also help determine the behaviors that we adopt and who we become.

The environment involves what we learn from others, the people we interact with, the resources we have access to, and incentives that we think are important. The precede-proceed model shows how these factors influence our behaviors, affecting our quality of life.

Conceptualization of the precede proceed model of health promotion: Green and Kreuter

Once you understand all the factors that go into your behaviors, someone can create a program that improves any deficiencies that causes them not to have the right behaviors that lead to a higher quality of life. A program starts with education, followed by executing a plan that will help someone change a deficiency that keeps them from improving their life.

Reinforcing factors could be the people in someone’s life, such as having a close friend who is obese, which increases someone’s chance of being obese by 57%. This outcome is likely because the close friend’s poor dietary habits and physical activity will reflect upon the person.

If you have been in a group setting, you will probably notice that you eat more, since the average person will eat 30-50% in a group setting than alone. We tend to mirror the habits of others, and if someone else is eating, it will make someone want to eat as well. 

The First Step Towards Progress

It takes a lot of self-awareness to overcome these obstacles to adopt the right behaviors, but self-awareness is where a lot of progress starts and that comes from being educated in the right areas. And it’s essential to be educated because the average person has to make 35,000 decisions a day, and it’s effortless to make a couple of bad decisions if someone is unaware of them, which can lead to a downward spiral. It’s okay to make a bad decision but don’t make a bad decision twice in a row because it is a choice after that.

Each section of the Precede-Proceed Model has subcategories that could be preventing someone from making progress on their goals. So weekly, we should find where the bottlenecks are and then figure out a way to remove them.

Instead of improving results in one area by 50%, it tends to be easier to improve a bottleneck by 10% in seven different areas. In most cases, focus on small changes to build up your momentum and confidence.

Knowing why you should do something will make it easier to change since it will clarify why you should do something and be motivated to make it happen.

How To Ramp Up Progress

One of the best ways to get progress is to treat your life like a business. When I do business consulting and use my Grow With Joe Business Road Map, I start by creating the vision. I ask people where do they see themselves in ten years. This will help me know what they should focus on and what they shouldn’t focus on because if everything is important, then nothing is important. Then the vision won’t become a reality.

This ten vision will require them to know how much money they will make, what the systems are, what the organizational chart will look like to make their goal a reality, and how this lifestyle will affect their personal life.

Then they figure out the clients they need to work with and the service or product they will provide. This exercise helps people visualize their future, and if you can see something happening, then the odds of it happening increase.

Then I ask people what their lives should be like at three years to make sure they hit their ten-year vision goal. Then, it goes to what life needs to look like one year from now to make the ten-year vision a reality.

Now obviously, things are going to change, but accumulating resources gives someone options, and options can give someone freedom to choose what their present situation gets to be.

When I do financial planning, my real goal is to help people accumulate financial resources, put systems to protect their finances, and help create the right behaviors. For example, suppose they don’t want to use their retirement funds to purchase a beach home. In that case, they can use it for something else—a much better decision to make than figuring out how to use a $957 monthly social security check to cover all your monthly expenses.

I also try to tell clients to focus on the present because today is the oldest they have ever been in life, and today is the youngest they will be for the rest of their life. However, it requires perfect economy where someone doesn’t do too much and doesn’t do little to live in the present and prepare for the future.

How To Stay On Track

Implementing this perfect economy requires knowing where someone wants to go, what resources they have, their capabilities, and who they want to be. The resources and capabilities can change with time and effort, so perfect economy will probably take a while to reach and require some tinkering to find the right balance on living life.

Once the vision is formulated, it requires setting numbers that someone needs to hit weekly to make sure they’re making progress. Having numbers to hit gives people a sense of competition.

I keep all my planning notes and the numbers I need to hit in the cloud so I can access them from anywhere, and I check every week if I’m making progress on my goals. If I’m not, then I ask what needs to change to make it happen. It is effortless to push planning, tracking, and reflection to the side, but one minute of planning saves someone ten minutes on execution, and what gets measured and tracked grows exponentially.

In my practice, I like to do annual progress meetings where people see their progress on their goals and see if updates need to be made. The goals might have changed, but as long as they have accumulated resources and capabilities, much less work needs to be done to make things happen.

How To Make The Right Progress

It’s also vital to set metrics on effort and not outcomes. Outcomes we can’t control, but we can control our actions. If you focus on doing the right things, then the score will take care of itself, but it requires constantly checking if your effort is in the right place. Working hard in the wrong areas just causes someone to get frustrated.

If someone’s predisposing factor is that they can only type at 20 words per minute, then instead of taking 3 minutes and 45 seconds to write 300 words, which is about four small paragraphs, it will take someone 15 minutes. Multiply this effort over a day. The person doing 20 wpm will fall dramatically behind the person who can do 80 wpm. So it’s essential to train in the right areas to get the results you want and to get them as fast as possible.

You still want to set a goal focused on outcomes because they can help with the effort goals. If you see that your income goals are falling short, you can catch the problem when it is small and manageable. This outcome is better than waiting a month out before going bankrupt to make changes. They shouldn’t be the main focus but should be monitored to ensure your effort is in the right place.

How Not To End Up In The Wrong Place

Life is all about making adjustments, and it is best to think about this quote on why you shouldn’t stay the same and strive for progress.

If you want things to stay the same around here, something has to change.

The environment is constantly changing, but we can stay ahead of this change by increasing our human capital, social, and financial assets. This accumulation of assets will cause problems to become five-minute problems. It takes a lot of discipline to keep this schedule, but discipline creates freedom. Having the discipline to maintain emotional and mental strength will make it easier to say no to the distractions and focus on your growth, then in the future, you will have the resources to enjoy life more.

Someone with $4 million saved up after 45 years of investing will have more options than someone who has zero after 45 years. Having $4 million can be done by putting $540.18/mo into an investment account, which requires finding a job that pays $64,821.60, investing 5% of the salary into a retirement while getting a 5% match, and averaging an 8% return.

This $4.5 million, along with social security, should give someone about $16k/mo for 35 years in today’s dollars. So if someone chooses to save less in the future because they only want $8k/mo, they have the flexibility to do so and can use that money for other things.

The Traits For Making Progress

So once the vision and numbers are created, planning and executing are next to follow. And with almost every goal worthwhile, it just takes consistency. To keep going on your vision, just follow this quote in the San Antonio Spurs’ locker room.

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” – Jacob Riis.

But if the blows are all over the place, then it will take more than 101 blows to split the rock in two, and someone might quit, but if there is a focus with the proper technique, then proceeding forward won’t be an issue. So then you can accomplish your goals a lot faster than other people. So when you’re on your tenth rock while everyone is still on the first rock, you can look like a superstar and build up your reputation for getting things done.

This reputation will give you more influence in your community because you’re reliable for getting things done. If people know the value they get from you, they will pay a higher price.

I tell people that one hour with a professional saves the amateur 8 hours. So if someone values their time at $50 an hour, and if the professional takes 2 hours to do a task, it can save the amateur 16 hours, which is worth about $800. The price can increase if the professional adds other savings and creates value in other areas.

Instead of the amateur trying to focus on everything and not being good at anything, they can focus their time on what is essential and improve their craft. Telling someone they will save 27 months by going with you and not spending that time in school can be very valuable, but the buyer needs to be educated on this value provided before they buy.

Follow The Process

So by understanding your goals, having the right strategies, and then having a plan that strives to hit specific KPIs, progress can happen a lot faster.

In life, everything is connected, and it just takes one deficiency to ruin or halt progress. So there needs to be time to partake in maintenance and reflection. People should spend a couple of days every year to review the past year and see what needs to happen to make the next year even better. Otherwise, the person is just drifting and being pulled in a direction that society wants them to go in, which will never work out for someone.

It’s up to the person to determine their destiny. Still, it requires a person to be strong enough to do so, which is why I recommend people to work on themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually every day. If people do this, the score will take care of itself, and people will live a life according to them.

We only have one life to live, so we might as well make sure we play the game right to win our game.


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