150 Perfect Bricks

by Johnny Pain

So here we are, five days into the New Year. This time of year is historically a time of reflection for many. It’s common to assess one’s status in the world and resolve to make change in the next 365 days (366 this year).

This is not going to be another generic, early January goal setting article encouraging you to create a list of resolutions, but rather a simple challenge to all who truly wish to bring about positive change in some aspect of their lives.

I want you to figure out what area of your life is lacking.

It might be your health, fitness, or physique.

It might be your financial status.

It might be your occupational status.

It might be your relationship status.

It may be some combination of the above; there are no wrong answers here.

What in your life is not congruent with how you imagine your life to be?

What do you stress/obsess about? What keeps you up at night, ruins meals, or otherwise interferes with you leading the amazing life that you deserve?

Once you’ve established what that thing or thing is, I want you to answer one simple question:

“Would my situation not improve significantly if I dedicated time and effort into carrying out 150 focused actions towards bettering the situation over the course of the next six months?”

Faced with the perception of a large problem, it is easy to become discouraged and fail to take action towards positive progress. As I and many others have written before, the compounding effect of making small, consistent, moves towards the prize humanize the task, and make achieving the desired outcome seem much more possible. Build some momentum, and you’re unstoppable.

So using the brick in the wall analogy that we looked at in the last article “There’s No Gold Star for Attendance”, the challenge is to lay 150 perfect bricks between now and June 15. Do that and you may not have the dream house completed by then, but you will have a hell of a start on one beautiful wall.

Get in the forum and post in your log about your wall if you dare. Accountability has proven time and again to be one hell of a motivator. If your goal is more personal than you’d like to share, record your actions towards it somewhere else that you can look at it daily. It is important to see the wall growing as time passes, and the actions stack up.

Absolutely nothing will happen if you do not take action.

Recognize what you want to change, and identify what you can do today to lay one perfect brick.

You’re human, so I don’t expect a perfect brick to get laid daily (though that would be ideal).

Perfection is not necessary, consistency is.

Six months, 150 bricks. Plenty of leeway for the days you just don’t want to get out of bed, or when life demands that you focus your attention and efforts elsewhere.

Resolve to change something major in you life, envision it as a single task like “make more money”, “get down to 10 percent body fat”, or “start a Business” and chances are you will end up reflecting on this years lack of progress this time next year.

Figure out how to lay one perfect brick today, and begin construction on your wall. Get active in the forum and interact with all of the other StrengthVillain bricklayers out there charting their own course and taking control of their life in 2012.


Johnny Pain is the man behind StrengthVillain.com as well as the East Coast’s notorious Greyskull Barbell Club and several other ventures. He is the author of several books on subjects pertaining to strength and conditioning. He can be found comically entertaining questions on his Q and A forum at StrengthVillain.com or can be reached for consultations, training seminars, or speaking engagements at john@villainintl.com.

Also, you can follow him on Twitter: @thejohnnypain



3 Responses

  1. Chris E.

    Great post JP.

    January 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm

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