Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to make a secret plan a manifesto

A Secret Plan can be stupid, pedantic, or ignorable to everyone other than you.  No one else's opinion matters when it comes to your Secret Plan.  What matters is that the end is big ticket high-stakes-life-changing-stuff for YOU.  If it ain't... it is just a goal.  The brutally tough last step is to make it public.  This is the piece of the life-change sequence where many of us get hung up.  When I wrote about it last week  it was so hard that I could not even get myself to publicly declare the gist of my own Secret Plan.  However, as a buddy of mine recently wrote, it is time to "lean forward into life" and turn the Secret Plan into a manifesto.

One of the pitfalls of self-improvement resolutions is that there is a breakdown in the sequencing.  The need is easily identified, end-goal clearly defined.  There is even a sense of some of the steps required to get from  need to end.  The vision of those steps is often blurred or distorted - we don't see the order that they need to take.  We are are scared to look closely so that we can see.  Take the example of the cigarette smoking Robad (Regular Old Bald Ass Dada).  He inhales $400 worth of smoke every month and is $400 short in critical monthly expenses.  He says "I really need to quit smoking" and then lights another cigarette.  He knows about nicoderm patches and sugar-free gum.  He understands that many of the aches, pains, and physical ailments he lives with will disappear if he quits.  He says "I really need to quit smoking" and lights another.  He absolutely gets that the extra $400 will be a sea change for his family.  Like rowboat to yacht kind of stuff.  But he does not get beyond "I really need to quit smoking".  I got news folks... he ain't crazy or weird.  He is you.  He is me.  We are him.  So don't sit in judgement.  We have all been in the same boat as Robad.

The trick to breaking the cycle is that there is no trick.  STOP looking for a trick.  No secrets to a Secret Plan.  Make a clear mission - a big lofty goal.  Just like you are a start-up business - make it clear, measurable, action-oriented, and simple.  Write down three to five checkpoints you will cross on your way to that goal.  What are the baby steps to get you to that first checkpoint.  Think of the baby steps as a punch-list.  Publicly state your mission - take the Secret Plan and make it a manifesto.  Always try to keep your talk "on mission" and remind others about your mission when their talk strays off your course.  Stay flexible, progress (as my mother says) ain't always linear.

So what is your Secret Plan?  Don't be afraid.  Make one - turn it into a manifesto.  Start broad and focus down into the specific.  Make yourself accountable.  Make it painful.  So here is mine... let's call it the Dada Manifesto:

Secret Plan - I will make my living as an athletic professional (competitor and mentor).

Manifesto - By the middle of 2013 I will make my living as a professional multi-sport athlete and as a coach/personal trainer.  I will compete at professional levels in swimming, triathlon, xterra, mountain biking, and road cycling.  I will earn the needed certificates to work as a trainer and coach and work with a wide range of people to help them to change their lives for the better.

Benchmarks - Physical: weight in june 2012 = 190 and rpr (resting pulse rate) 70, july 2012 = 187 and rpr 67, august 2012 = 184 and rpr 64, sept 2012 = 180 and rpr 60, november and on oward = 175 and rpr 56.  Swimming: 2012 US Masters Nationals Omaha within 8 seconds of US national record in at least one event, compete in five swim meets getting at least 1 second faster each time, break at least one US national record at 2013 US Masters Nationals.  Triathlon: june - finish keuka lake triathlon in top 25 for age group, sept. - top 10 at JCC Scottsdale Adult Sprint Triathlon, oct - top 10 at Bartlett Lake Olympic & Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, nov - top 5 at Southwest Valley Regional YMCA Thanksgiving Day Sprint Triathlon, more to follow.  Xterra: aug - top 25 at lake tahoe, sept - top 8 at show low, more to follow.  Mountain Biking: ride and re-ride the Prescott Whiskey Off-Road course taking 10 minutes off every month, more to follow, Road Cycling: more to follow.  Professional Development: more to follow.

There is the outline of my plan for accomplishing my manifesto.  It starts tomorrow morning in the 62 degree waters of Keuka Lake.  There I will be swimming, biking, and running an olympic distance triathlon.  I have some people to crush.  I better call it a night.  Do yourself a favor - make a secret plan.  Turn it into a manifesto.  And for the gods' sake lean forward into life.


  1. Keeping me inspired, Lama. Beautiful stuff.

  2. Keeping me inspired, Lama. Beautiful stuff.

  3. What an amazing plan! I'm confident you'll go far in this, keep up the excellent work!