Do or Do Not, There is no try

“Do or do not, there is no try”

Potentially the most popular quote from the Star Wars movie series.

However, does it set you up for success or failure?

When there is only the black and white, yes or no, do or do not, it can make things pretty rigid. In my experience it often creates the all or nothing mindset.

If I make the “DO” part mean 100%, perfect, or like someone else does; then I’m setting myself up for failure. I’ve set my target too high.

An example: I can’t try to go to the gym. Ether I do or I don’t. Simple right?

However, is “going to the gym” an achievable goal for me?

This is the key. It’s the measurement, goal, end result or level of achievement that really matters in this.

The most important part is how we define the DO.

To set yourself up for success, your DO needs to be reasonable and within reach. You should have to reach a little to get it, but not so far out that you’re going to miss and fall on your face.

If you are using this statement to motivate you, make sure your DO is realistic for you.

Your DO might be:

  • take the dog for a walk for 10 mins, not a 10K run
  • get in a 10K recovery run, not the 17K that was planned
  • do 5 mins of core work at home, not a 60 minute gym session
  • get in 20 mins of mindless cardio at the gym, not a full interval series
  • use the 5# weights because I’m just starting, not the one the other person used
  • focus on 1 healthy meal, not every meal, snack and shake

They key is that you know where you are at within YOUR progress and you’re pushing yourself at YOUR level. You’re not skipping past levels and trying to work well beyond your capacity.

It’s like going to the 2nd floor of an apartment building. There’s 15 incremental steps, you don’t just jump up a full flight.

The key to success with this famous statement:

Set your “DO” to the first step, not the first floor. Then you can Do or Do Not.


do or do not


If you struggle with defining your steps or always start your goals full out and end up quitting a few weeks later, send me an email and let me help.

~ Chad

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