If you are like 95% of people who “work out”, then you go to the gym a few times a week, work up a little sweat, and head home only marginally better than when you went in. In most cases you may not even be improving what you are trying to improve.
What is it that you are training for again? Have you set a goal? What is it? Is it to get stronger? To lose fat? To work out 3 times/week this year? Whatever it is, make sure it is specific.
It is really sad how many people I witness working their ass off day in and day out and making little to no progress.
Humor me for a moment and imagine that you are a janitor. You go to work every day, knowing well that your job sucks. Now imagine that you are not getting paid for it. No matter what your job is you go to work to get paid, so why wouldn’t you go to the gym to get results?
Step 1: Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal
Now, setting a half-ass goal like I want to get in shape or I want to lose weight is not going to fly here. These goals almost always fail because they are too broad. There is no way to measure “in shape” since that can literally mean an infinite amount of different things. Is being able to do a lunge “in shape”? Is being able to squat 600lbs “in shape”? Is being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded “in shape”? Is running 3 miles non-stop “in shape”? Is putting your groceries away without shoulder pain “in shape”?
See my point?
If you want to stop trying and failing then you have to stop setting non-specific goals and set smart goals. I’m sure you have all heard the acronym S.M.A.R.T. somewhere in your career or lives but I am going to beat a dead horse with this one. If you want to reach your goal it has to be:
To help put this into perspective for you I am going to share one of my own personal goals. I’m not only the president for Goal Setting for Men, I’m also a member.
My goal: To deadlift 500lbs. by January 1, 2012. (If the world doesn’t end)
- What: deadlift 500lbs
- Why: To test my limits.
- How: I have programs set up from now-Jan1. (Show and Go and beginning 5-3-1 in July)
- When: Jan1, 2012
- My max Feb. 12 was 407lbs.
- I am measuring again June 13 and again in October.
- As far as lifting things goes, I think over 2.5X your body weight is pretty ambitious. Plus 500lbs is just plain old badass, I don’t care who you are.
- Many have come before me and lifted much more. That was their goal. This is mine.
- This gives me about 9 1/2 months to increase my max by less than 90lbs. Is it possible? I think so but it’s going to be hard work….life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. There will be bumps in the road. Will I make it? You better f%$&ing believe it.
Step 2: Write it down and make it known.
Anyone can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? Take your goal and write it down. Write it down 100 times. Whatever it takes for it to be visible and for it to be come part of you. Remember you are your goal.
I like to take it one step further and make it known. The more people you tell about your goal, the more likely you are going to do everything in your power to make it reality and sometimes a little more.
My last big goal was to compete in a professional powerlifting meet and I made sure everyone knew it. There were times when I was tired, sick, feeling weak, and just plain old busy with life and thought about backing down and pushing it back till I was on top. That thought came and went pretty quick when I just thought back about how many people I told I was going to make it happen.
In the end, I competed and took 3rd place in my weightclass. I wasn’t my best but I crushed it. That was my goal.
Step 3: Crush it.
So what is your current goal? Do you have it written down? Do you even know if you are staying on track to reach your goal? If you answered “I don’t know” to any of these questions you should maybe sit down and really think about what it is you really want. If you don’t know what you want you will just end up with a bunch of crap you don’t. You are the janitor cleaning up crap for free.
If you have a goal, are you staying on track? How do you know?
Seriously, if your goal is to lose fat…..how much have you lost?
If your goal is to get stronger…..how much stronger have you gotten?
If your goal is to train 3x/week…..have you trained 32 times this year?
These are the things that will be the difference of crushing your goals and setting higher ones or just going through the motions like everyone else. This is where you don’t stop until you have done everything in your God given power to get what you want. It is not always going to be easy. Hell, sometimes it is going to flat out suck. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.
So what are you going to do?