Barking Up the Wrong Tree: What Works and What Doesn’t

“If something is important, do it everyday. If it isn’t, don’t it at all”-Dan Gable

This is some pretty solid wisdom. You can get pretty far by just following this advice for a year, maybe even less. However, there are quite a few caveats and nuance to this, which is what makes it such an awesome quote. What if the thing you think is important doesn’t actually achieve the effect you think it will? What if you stretch everyday to become more flexible, but after years of stretching everyday you are no more flexible than you were initially?

wrong tree

If that’s the case you’ve been barking up the wrong tree. I won’t say you’ve been wasting your time, because I’m sure you learned some stuff along the way, even if it was only that stretching everyday for 3 years didn’t get your hammies less tight. However, to continue getting closer to your goal, you have to figure out if what you’re doing is actually working.

Note that the reason for switching things up is that progress wasn’t made towards the goal. This implies that first you must figure out WHY you want to do something everyday. WHY is this thing important to you?

If, after a few months of doing something every single day, you haven’t gotten closer to the goal, that is, the WHY, then it is time to adjust. The best way to do this is to experiment. Try other things, and see if you get closer to your goal.

The caveat here is to not add a bunch of stuff at the same time. This will make it much harder to tease apart what is working and what isn’t. If I’m allergic to something in my 20 ingredient omelet, it’s going to be pretty damn hard to figure out what it is. In short, add something(or take away something), assess, add something, assess.

Doing assessments are useful, but you have to give the thing you’re assessing enough time to do it’s job. If I’m doing a lifting program to help my bench press, I have to give it more than a week before deciding if it’s working.

Consistency is king, but experimentation is also needed to continue moving forward. I’m pretty sure I’ve ended a blog with a this same Bruce Lee quote before, and I’ll do it again dammit!

bruce lee

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