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If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the toughest person to lead is ourselves.

~John C. Maxwell

1. Learn to follow before you try to lead.

Only a leader who has followed well knows how to lead others well. Good leadership requires an understanding of the world that followers live in. In contrast, leaders who have never followed well or submitted to authority tend to be prideful, unrealistic, rigid, and autocratic.

2. Develop self-discipline.

Each of us is the “king ” or “queen” of our own lives, meaning that we are ultimately responsible for our actions and decisions. To make good decisions consistently and refrainin from wrong ones, requires character and self-discipline.

3. Practice patience.

Most leaders I know struggle with impatience, including me! However, being able to look ahead doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right time to move ahead. Few worthwhile things in life come quickly. Remember that your growth is happening in a slow-cooker, not a microwave.

4. Seek accountability.

This is an important step because this is where our enemy (ourselves) really trips us up. Good leaders know they can’t trust themselves, they know their own fallibility, and they put measures in place to keep from stepping into danger. First, don’t rely on just yourself. Second, be accountable to someone worthy and reliable. Then, be willing to explain your actions and get advice from those holding you accountable, and I trust you’ll stay on track.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or you’re trying to improve your performance, we all will hit a wall at some point during our journey. I’ve personally rode the roller coaster of weight loss and it’s not fun. I’m sure many of you can resonate with that struggle of losing weight and gaining it all back.

When we hit that wall or undo all the good we’ve done, we start to question if what we are doing is even the right way to do it. Or our friends just say, “Come on, you can treat yourself just this one time. “Or we forget why we’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle and just stay in bed for 5 more minutes.

I had the honor of being a guest on a national conference call with hundreds of my partner company’s business partners to share my fitness journey. I talked about the three crucial puzzle pieces that most people are missing when they start chasing after their health goals.

1. You’re missing a coach.

Trying to tackle this journey on your own is one of the more difficult paths. You’re where you’re at because of the knowledge you possess or lack thereof.

This person can be someone you hire such as a personal trainer, or this can be a friend that is living the lifestyle you desire. They don’t have to be a complete expert on the subject of health, but they do need to be performing at a higher level than you. They are someone that has to know more than you and someone that you can go to when you have a question or get stuck.

2. You’re missing accountability partners.

Aside from your coach, you need a group of people to help keep you accountable. The accountability partners that work best are the ones that are on the journey WITH you. Having friends cheer for you on the sidelines is great, but there’s something to be said about the power of when you’re in the game with your friends.

I recommend daily check-ins with your accountability partners to discuss what went well, what didn’t, and provide daily encouragement so that you can push through this journey. The power of accountability partners isn’t what you get FROM them. As their partner, you have to keep them accountable and continue to push them forward. And in order for you to do that, you have to hold up your end of the deal first which causes you to take action too.

3. You don’t want it bad enough.

It doesn’t matter if you have the best coach and the best accountability partners. If you don’t want it bad enough for yourself, you’ll find an excuse. If you do want it bad enough, then you’ll find a way.

When you have the burning desire to succeed in taking control of your health, that’s when you’re willing to do whatever it takes. That’s how the consistency, good habits, sacrifices, and commitment all come into play on their own.

When times get tough where you want to give up, you’ll need to remember how bad you want it. You must remember your WHY. Why do you want to take control of your health? Is it to live your best life? Is it to be around as long as possible for your family? Is it to inspire others? Is it to prove to others that you can do it? Is it to prove to yourself that you can do it? Whatever your reason may be, it has to be strong enough to push you through the difficult times.

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.

~Eric Thomas

If you’re struggling with your fitness journey, look to fill these three missing puzzle pieces so that you can take your health to the next level.

Have you ever set off to achieve a new goal only to find yourself off track a few weeks later?

When I made a decision to take full responsibility for my health, there were 3 key factors that contributed to my total body transformation of losing 70 pounds. I’ve attempted to take control in the past and did have some success in losing weight, but it always seemed to find its way back. I was stuck on the roller coaster weight-loss ride that so many of us get stuck on, until I discovered the missing pieces. These 3 keys can be applied in any context to help you achieve your next level.

1. Find a mentor

You’ll need to find a mentor or coach that has already achieved what you want to achieve. This can either be an industry leader you hire or even a friend that just has more experience than you. They’ll help you map out a gameplan that will show you the path to success. They will be a resource for you to utilize whenever you have a question or ever get stuck during your journey.

2. Find accountability partners

Accountability partners are a critical piece to keeping you on track. These are people that are riding the same struggle bus with you and are striving to achieve similar goals. Not only do they keep you on track, but you’re there to encourage and support them as well.

3. Want it bad enough

This is the biggest key that will determine your success. You can have all the mentors in the world and the greatest accountability partners, but that will mean nothing if you don’t have the ambition and drive to achieve your goal. When you want it bad enough, that’s when all of the other pieces fall into place like consistency, habit development, persistence and motivation to push past any self-limiting beliefs.

[easy-tweet tweet=”When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. ~Eric Thomas” user=”NLAchievers”]

With these 3 keys in place, you’ve set yourself up for massive success. Now it’s time for you to execute!