The Art of Adherence

Today marks one month since many of us made New Year’s Resolutions – for either ourselves personally or for our businesses. How are you doing at sticking to the goals that you set? Have you had a few setbacks? Have you considered changing the goal? DON’T! Change the date. Change the tactics. Keep the goal – it’s important. 

In his book, Sticking to It, The Art of Adherence, Lee J. Colan details what it takes achieve success. Below is a recap of the highlights from his book – let’s use Colan’s simple formula below to ensure that you keep on track.


Success does not depend on the brilliance of your plan but on the consistency of your actions.


How often have others told us that the formula for maintaining a healthy weight is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly?  Everybody knows this, although sophisticated marketers package it in many creative ways.  If we all know these words of wisdom, why is it so difficult to apply them to our lives?  The secret to losing weight is not in knowing the formula. Rather, it is in applying what we already know.


Every year on January 1st, people make resolutions.  It is a time to start fresh and implement new plans for various areas of our lives.  But we all know what happens…about 70% of all New Year’s resolutions last less than one month.  Many last less than a week or even a day.  We do not have bad intentions; it is just that most of us do not stick to it long enough to create a habit­—a new way of behaving.


The same process happens when we set development or personal growth goals.

The greatest challenge for us today is not the lack of well-thought-out strategies or plans. It’s the lack of disciplined execution of those strategies.  The game is not won by creating new strategies but by sticking to your current strategy—this is called Adherence

So how do you achieve Adherence?  Based on the experiences of high-achieving individuals and teams, Adherence consists of three components: Focus, Competence, and Passion.


There is also an exponential relationship between the three components.  In other words, a higher level of Focus, Competence, or Passion results in a dramatic increase in Adherence.  As you increase each component, you build momentum toward executing your strategy.

You build momentum as you adhere to your plan, just as you build momentum when you achieve small goals that lead to bigger goals.  The required effort decreases over time as actions become habits and momentum increases, resulting in a self-reinforcing cycle of achievement.


Compare the results of building Adherence to planting a bamboo seed.  When you plant and nurture the seed, the sprout can take up to 2 years to break through the earth.  But once it does, it can grow over 100 feet in two weeks! This is true of the journey and benefits of building Adherence, too.


Do your goals for this year fit into a plan you can continue to adhere to? Do you need to increase your focus? Is there specific learning that you need to do to increase your competence? What steps do you need to take to ensure that your passion stays high – even during trying times?



"Only Action gets you closer to your dreams - do something today that your future self will thank you for."


© 2019 All Rights Reserved