Effort is one of the key principles to be successful. If you want something bad enough you will achieve it if you put in consistent effort.

Yet something so simple is often neglected.

People say they want to achieve something or make a lifestyle change, yet you see that same person wasting their time, staying up late watching reality TV instead of putting in work. Or someone says how they are “on a diet” and “need to lose weight” but you see that same person shoveling cake down their throat at the next birthday party you attend.

The truth is, a lot of people are full of shit. They don’t want it bad enough. They just say they do because they think that’s what you want to hear.

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But let’s forget about those types of people for a second. This post is for the risk takers, the go-getters, and the adventurous, rebellious, relentless, hard-working sons of bitches that will never say die! If you are someone that has that type of attitude then keep on reading.

I want to share some of the key principles to success that I have learned over the last few years that has helped me propel my business, training, relationships and most of all, the lives of others to the next level.

Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

This seems simple, but is harder for most people than you think. Over the last few years skipping sleep to “work harder” has been glorified. Now don’t get me wrong, at times it is necessary to stay up later than usual and work. So you roll with it to get it done. That’s okay, once in awhile. The problem lies when you do this consistently.

More quality sleep will enable you to be more productive throughout the day. You will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead of you, instead of dragging ass and complaining about how tired you are all day. With 7-9 hours of quality sleep you will produce more human growth hormone, testosterone, melatonin and other hormones.

To keep this short, human growth hormone and testosterone will help you build muscle, lose fat, and increase sex drive. Talk about a trifecta! In addition, melatonin is a hormone your body produces that will help fight diseases like cancer. I'd say that alone is a great reason to get more quality sleep.

If you’re someone who has trouble sleeping, start with shutting off all of your electronic devices about an hour before bed, make sure the temperature in your room is about 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep your room pitch dark. If you are used to sleeping with a TV on, just trust me and give this a shot. You’ll be happy you did.

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Wake up 1-3 hours before you “have to.”

Most people hit the snooze button until 10 minutes before they have to leave for work. They skip breakfast and run out the door. Then they complain about traffic, being late, hating their job, etc. That's because you started the day on someone else's terms instead of your own. If you wake up earlier than you "have to" you will have time for YOU!

Which is extremely important, if you ask me.

This is the time where you can go for a walk, meditate, exercise, read a book, work on a career shift, stretch, whatever. All of the stuff you say you don't have time for can be done in this time frame. Success guru's call this "the power hour" referring to the first 60 minutes you are awake. Your mind is very sensitive first thing in the morning and if you start the day with positivity and productivity, that's how you will end your day. But you have to start getting to bed a little bit earlier to take advantage of this. That’s part of making sacrifices.

Write down and read your goals.

If you don't write down your goals you will never accomplish them.

Putting them down on paper and reading them every day will keep them fresh in your mind and also make them a reality. Otherwise they are just an idea that will eventually fade away. If you want something bad enough you will make it happen, and I can't stress enough about the importance of setting, writing, and reading your goals first thing in the morning and right before bed. This takes about 120 seconds to complete, but most people will not take advantage of this tip. Don't be like most; write down your goals and crush them!

I have done this every day for the last year and it’s one thing that I credit to most of the recent success in my life. It keeps you focused and your vision clear. Don’t take it lightly. This is one of the most important things you can do that will help in your success.

Time block your day.

To get a lot of stuff done, you have to plan for it in your schedule. The best way to do that is write it down and create a time frame to get it done for the next day.

This is a key to productivity and is the only way to assure you will take the time to do what you have to. If you fail to do this you will either forget about what you had to do or you will allow someone or something else that pops up to control your time. Create time slots and honor them!

Say NO more often.

The more we say yes to things that other people ask of us, the more we say no to the things that we want or need to get done. It's difficult, I know. But saying no is one of the best things you can do. We get asked a million things on a daily basis. Can you drive me here? Can you pick up the laundry? Can you work on this assignment? Can you teach me this? Because we are good people we say, "sure I can." We try to be nice but that only leaves us with less time for our work, training, hobbies, and time spent with our friends and family.

Say no and regain your freedom!

deadlift murph

Apply 110% effort into every single thing you do.

You want to be great? You want to be successful? You want to crush your goals? If so, you better be willing to give it all you got, all the time. You better be willing to always go the extra mile and work harder than anyone else, no matter what your goal.

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I read a quote a while back that said “how you do anything is how you’ll do everything." That stuck with me, because I experienced that first hand in my own life. I was someone who was lazy in my late teen years, thinking that would be able to just go through the motions and achieve my goals.

I was dead wrong.

It was a rude awakening as I got older and wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t until I started working hard in every facet of my life that I began accomplishing things. If you ask the people who know me now, they will tell you that I treat every pickup basketball game like it’s the Super Bowl. I give everything I got whenever I do anything, and due to that I have accomplished some things.

And you can too. You just have to be willing to bust your ass.

You don’t have to be the biggest, strongest, or smartest. You just need to work the hardest. The Rock always talks about being the hardest worker in the room, and that is the key to his success. Not all of us were born with incredible talents, but we can develop the skills necessary to become successful in our craft.

Just take a second and think about the people who have talked about achieving a goal, and never achieved it. Were they the hardest worker in the room? Were they willing to go the extra mile? To go to bed earlier? To wake up early?

Hell no. So do the fucking opposite.

Work harder than anyone else, be willing to learn from everyone, help people, be humble and stay hungry. If you do you will be on your way.

I hope this post helps you in achieving your goal. Now get out there and get better every day!

Chris Tutela is a strength and conditioning coach in Clark, New Jersey. He is the owner and operator of Tutela Training Systems, where he trains mainly athletes and some regular people. He has multiple years experience as a strength coach at the high school level as well a professionally in the private sector.