A new year is knocking on our door. You know what that means. Time to set new training goals and more importantly, it’s time to commit to reaching these goals. How many times have you set goals at the beginning of the year only to abandon them a few months or even a few weeks into the new year? You’re not alone. In fact, over 92% of those who set resolutions for the new year will fail to meet their goals.
Ninety-two percent! Why do so many people give up on their resolutions? What can you do to meet or exceed your set goals for the new year?
Just about everyone sets goals for the new year. And just the fact that you set new goals is a step in the right direction. However, a goal is worthless if little serious effort is made toward achieving the goal. Make this year different. Set your goals, design a plan to achieve these goals, and don’t let anything get in your way of success.
Why People Fail
The biggest problem I see with those that give up on their New Year’s goals and resolutions is the simple fact that they set unrealistic goals. Hey, I’m all for shooting for the stars, but you have to be realistic. Setting a goal too high will most certainly lead to frustration. This frustration quickly leads to goal abandonment – failure.
Set Realistic Goals
Set realistic goals. Setting a goal too high will simply not allow you to achieve that goal. Setting a goal too low will not give you the drive and determination it takes to succeed really. Be realistic about what your training can produce, but don’t use this as an excuse to set your sights too low.
Determine the “SIZE” of Your Goal
So how do you know how “big” of goal to set? This varies with everyone. But a goal should be achievable. However, to really produce, to really see the serious gains we are all looking for, your goal must be big. Big, but obtainable. However, it should only be obtainable with no less than 100% effort and 100% commitment. This is important to making substantial progress. So set a lofty goal that’s obtainable, but only obtainable if you commit and execute what it takes to achieve this goal.
Define Your Goal
Define your goal in clear detail. This is very important in the whole process. You must be very specific. Trying to achieve a non-specific or vague goal leaves you too much opportunity to become lax or lazy. Without clear goal definition, you will tend to define your goal to satisfy your present situation or motivation level. Being goal-specific from the very beginning gives you a crystal clear target to shoot for.
Saying you want bigger arms is not clear. You must specify exactly how much bigger you want your arms to be.
Set “Short-Term” Goals
Break your main goals into short-term goals. This is important. Climbing a ladder to success is done one step at a time. Reaching the top of the ladder requires that you make each step successfully. Setting short-term goals are necessary to reach your long-term goals. Achieving short-term goals adds fuel and momentum to help you reach your long-term goals.
Also, it’s very important that you create specific target dates for achieving your short-term goals. The date set for goal achievement is just as important as the goal itself. You can’t expect to achieve a goal if you have no timetable in which to mold your achievement.
Divide your short-term goals into “micro-goals.” This breaks down your road-map to success into even finer detail. Micro-goals propel you to your short-term goals. Short-term goals propel you to your final goal. It’s like going on a cross-country road trip. At the onset of your trip, the final destination (goal) seems daunting and far away. But as you travel, you pass signs listing upcoming cities and how many miles are left to reach them. This incremental, city by city (micro-goal), state by state (short-term goal) approach makes the long journey much less intimidating and provides progressive accomplishment. As you reach the next city, you are that much closer to your final destination. As you achieve your micro and short-term goals, you get that much closer to your final goal.
Remember, you can’t reach your main goal without first reaching your micro-goals and short-term goals. Each smaller goal achieved is a springboard to your ultimate goal. And just like with your short-term goals, it’s important to establish set time frames to achieve your micro-goals.
Detail Your Plan
Devise a detailed plan to reach your goal. The keyword here is “detailed.” You must set a specific plan and timetable for achieving your goals.
Your plan must also include specific steps you’ll take to make sure your goal is met. You must plan your training, plan your diet and nutrition, plan your supplementation, and also plan your recuperation. The more detail you put into your plan, the greater your chance of success.
Contain Your Enthusiasm
I’m all about enthusiasm! Enthusiasm is great, but unbridled enthusiasm usually causes you to bite off more than you can chew. I see this happen all the time. Don’t let too much motivation lead you into frustration. Many times excessive enthusiasm leads to mental burn-out and physical over-training. Be cool and calculated. Having a well-defined plan allows you to control and maximize your mental and physical intensity for maximum results.
Don’t be like 92% of the people out there that come screaming out of the gate only to peter-out before the first month of the year is in the books.
Chart Your Progress and Review it Frequently
It’s important to know how well your training is going. If you don’t measure your progress how will you know the degree of your success? It’s important to chart your progress, so you will know how effective your overall plan is. It’s also important to review your progress on a regular basis. This is where a training journal plays its vital role. Just ask Skip La Cour or Jeff Willet how valuable their training journals are to their success.
Once you keep and experience the value of a well-kept training journal, you’ll never again train without one.
Get in Gear
I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve seen in gyms year in and year out that never make any noticeable changes. The reason for this? Failure to set goals. Failure to define a plan to reach a goal. And failure to chart their progress. Don’t be one these people. Use this outline to make this new year your most productive training year ever.