So I'm talking with my 16 year old son the other day, and that age-old question pops into my head…
"Tell me…what do you want to be when you 'grow up'?"
I could see the light go on in his head. Going into his junior year in high school, he'd obviously been thinking long and hard about what he wants to do with the rest of his life. He nearly spit all over himself as he blurted out…
"I want to own my own business!"
"Ok." I thought, realizing that this was going to be another one of those teenage mental chess games. I naturally followed with…
"And just what KIND of business do you want to own?"
"I dunno, maybe something in the music industry…or something." was his reply.
Hey, that almost seemed logical to me. I mean, he's a very smart boy, (I'm sorry…"young man"), but I didn't really have any expectations of him entering a courtroom wearing 4 earrings in his ears, you know?
Anyway, on with the "chess game". It was MY turn to move. To speed things up, the conversation went something like this…
Me: "What college courses are you going to need for this 'business'?"
Son: "College? I don't really know yet."
Me: "What kind of equipment will you need for your business?"
Son: "Hmmm…hadn't really thought about it."
Me: "Do you know of anyone in this business who can give you some leads or advice?"
Son: (ears perking up, victory is sight): "YEAH…Mike's brother's friend has an uncle who once did security for 50 Cent!"
(I wasn't sure if '50 Cent' was a singer or if it was how much this "uncle" was paid for his security work.)
Me: "And why exactly do you want to own your own business?"
Son: "So I can have a big house and a 'tight' car with a 'thumpin' stereo system."
Well, who am I to judge another person's goals. And in case you haven't been paying attention…
GOALS are what we're talking about!
You see, as incomplete as my son's plan may seem, it's EXACTLY how I see most of the bodybuilders in today's gyms approach their bodies.
Guys forget that if you want SPECIFIC results, you need a SPECIFIC plan. Yet how many of you TRULY have a complete road map to reaching your overall fitness goals?
Check out these 5 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS of proper goal setting and see how you stack up…
1. Long Term Goal
What do you hope to accomplish over the long haul? (And by "long haul", I mean 1-3 years.) This is your long term "destination" that will help you determine the intermediate steps you'll need to pull off.
Tip: Make your goal REALISTIC! A body like Arnold's didn't happen in 1-3 years! For an average bodybuilder following an average workout program, you're probably looking at 1-2 pounds of muscle gain a month. (By the way, if you're looking for ABOVE average gains, check out the Optimum Anabolics program at www.grow-muscle-now.com. Yes, that's a shameless plug!)
2. Short Term Goals
On your paper, write down where you'll need to be at 30, 60, and 90 day intervals in order to reach your ultimate goal in Step 1.
For example, if you want to increase your one-rep max on the bench press by 60 lbs over the next year, all you need to do is add 5 pounds per MONTH to reach your end goal. That sounds realistic doesn't it?
For you to stay committed to your goals, you need to keep in mind what your ultimate payoff will be. It should be SPECIFIC and don't worry about any textbook answers…it should ALSO be PERSONAL.
For example, maybe if you're looking to lose bodyfat, ,maybe the benefits are "seeing your abs once again, looking better in your clothes, better health, lower risk of heart attack, going shirtless on the beach this summer, etc.!"
You absolutely MUST reward yourself along the way for accomplishing your short term goals and ultimately your long term goal. The trick here is to ONLY reward yourself if you actually MEET your goals. No cheating or it won't be the motivator it's meant to be.
Here's an example I set for my own goals…
If I meet each 30 day goal I set for myself, I buy myself a new CD for my workout (I even promised my son I'd give '50 Cent' a try if I met my goals half way through the year!) Then, if I've meet my 1 year goal, I plan on buying a brand new MP3 player as a reward…but ONLY if I meet my goal!
5. Action Plan
Now it's time to put your plan into effect. Find a fitness program that's designed to help you accomplish your goals (hmmm, like Optimum Anabolics perhaps?) and plan out EACH DAY of your workout.
Stick with it, stay COMMITTED, REWARD yourself along the way, and you'll have that UNFAIR ADVANTAGE over all the other guys wandering aimlessly through their workouts at the gym!
Jeff Anderson "The Muscle Nerd" is the author of this revolutionary new training book called Optimum Anabolics.
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