Pillar 2 – How To Establish Your Goals
Welcome to Pillar 2 of the 4 Pillars of Success. In this article I am going to show you the next step in your journey to success. This journey is about how to establish your goals for the journey. Hopefully by now, you have learnt how to achieve your potential by unlocking yourself as learnt in Pillar 1. This is an important factor in planning your goals. I will break this all down into much more detail below.
But let us first look at where you are on your journey.
- Pillar 1 – Achieve Your Potential by Unlocking Yourself
- Pillar 2 – Establishing Your Goals
- Pillar 3 – Developing a Strong Mind
- Pillar 4 – Establishing your Motivation Foundation
What is Your Vision?
You need to have a vision to establish your goals effectively. Now when I say vision, I don’t mean losing 20lbs in 8 weeks. That is a goal. Ask yourself what is your vision?
When I started out with my training, it was to gain size and become less of a target at school. It didn’t really matter how I got there, as long as I got bigger (because I certainly wasn’t going to get taller).
But as time progressed, so did my training and my mindset towards it as well. I did anything I could to get bigger; eat what I wanted, lift heavy (regardless of if the form was correct or not), no structured routine…etc.
I got bigger yes, but it wasn’t sustainable. At least my physique. After a few years I started to develop a vision for myself. What I wanted to look like, act like and think like. I would visualize myself living near the beach, being able to walk confidently with my shirt off and enjoy good healthy food.
It wasn’t an obsessive vision, but the more I would visualize it, the more I was acting on it. Sure, I would have ups and downs and my physique would fluctuate, but I was consistent. After which, it became a lifestyle.
So, what you need to do is to visualize yourself in 6 months, 1 year and longer.
If it if being a freestyle dancer, imagine yourself walking down street, hearing music and being able to breakout into a free style dance. You are wearing low cut trousers and a tank top. You’re glistening and chiselled torso is on show for the world. Everyone can see the commitment and dedication you have to your craft.
This is a vision! Visualize yourself in the future and what you want to look, act, and think like.
Once you have this in mind, it is time to start working towards turning this vision into a reality.
Set Realistic Targets
The biggest mistake that you can make when you establish your goals, is setting yourselves unrealistic targets that you can’t achieve. Take losing weight as an example. An unrealistic target would be losing 20lbs in 2 weeks or being overweight to stage ready in 1 month.
Regardless of how you look at this, none of these are realistic targets. What happens when we don’t meet our targets? We become despondent and give up and the wrong attitude to have when establishing your goals!
It isn’t about our inability to do things; it is about the fact that we were never going to meet that target to begin with.
Take your vision (your result), then slowly work your way back to the beginning where you are now. This will give you a basis on which to work off and start working on your motivation strategy.
There are several factors that you must consider when planning your goals. I have listed some of them below. Please note that this is only an example list and there may be many more factors to include.
- What your working schedule is like
- How busy is your schedule with your children?
- What is your current body type (overweight, average, underweight…etc.)?
- Does your diet require changing?
- What is your financial situation (this is mainly relating to buying food)?
- What are your extracurricular activities?
- Have you every exercised before?
- How much time can you devote in a day to your transformation (there is more time than you think)?
- Do you have a support network?
- What are your bad habits?
- What are your strengths?
When you start these into account, you start to see a bigger picture of what is required before you can start your journey. If you honestly think about each of these things in details, you should be able to determine whether you have set yourself unrealistic targets or not?
Many people fall short of this. Being honest with themselves (Pillar 1). Don’t underestimate yourself. When we don’t get something right, it is easier to blame everything else rather than ourselves.
If you don’t achieve something, don’t get wrapped up in self-pity and failure. Look at the factors you considered before starting. Work your way through them and see which one/s you didn’t overcome. By being honest with yourself and acknowledging that it was you that had to the work (and nobody else), you have taken accountability.
Now you know and accept what happened, and you can work on it. By ignoring it and blaming something else, you never give yourself the opportunity to work on yourself and develop your character.
There are things that you need to work before you set your targets. By acknowledging what you need to consider, will help you to set realistic targets that you can meet.
Achieving Your Milestones
Once you have set yourself some targets that you want to achieve, it is time to break them down into manageable and achievable milestones.
By setting smaller milestones, you allow yourself the opportunity to experience a win. Thus, proving to yourself that you can achieve something. They can be small milestones but achieving them can make a world of difference to your journey and to your mindset.
When I started taking my training seriously, one of my milestones was correcting my form. I ended up starting over after 3 years (read my extended About Live for Gym).
I had to ignore everything I had done up until now, but without proper form I wasn’t going to get anywhere with my bodybuilding. The dieting I had taken care of, but without the correct form, my muscles were not going to get worked the way they were supposed to.
It did not take long to achieve this. Around a week or so (once I had worked on most of the compound exercises).
Looking Back at Achieving Your Goals
The thing is, I could of looked at it like I had wasted 3 years of my life doing it wrong. But I chose to look at it that I had spent 3 years learning to do it right. Also, one of the reasons I started Live For Gym, so that I can help people like you to not make the same mistakes I made.
There are too many weight loss, bodybuilding and transformation systems and products out there that promise the world. Many of them are achievable, but none of the address the fundamentals of succeeding.
All these routines, products and diet plans that are advertised, are based off the assumption that the fundamentals have been addressed. If you have never done anything like this before, you will find it difficult to jump straight in and succeed. I won’t sugar coat it. It’s true.
A milestone can be as simple as changing your diet. Replace 3 unhealthy things in your fridge for a healthier alternative. If you have never exercised before, try exercising for 20 minutes a day for a week.
You need to think hard about what your objectives are for your transformation. How do you plan on meeting them?
When you set yourself objectives, you need to think about them subjectively. Don’t influence yourself by setting objectives based on external factors. The journey you are going to take is a personal one, so your objectives need to be based on that.
Your objectives need to be clear and withstanding. For example, changing you diet. Don’t look at changing your diet because you need to in order to lose weight. Look at it as a lifestyle change. Losing weight is a short-term achievement. Thus, the change in diet will become short term.
The mind works in strange ways. Take losing weight as a short-term achievement for a minute. Why have I said it is short term? Well, you may want to lose weight over a 6-week period. Let us say 10lbs.
So, you start to change your diet (this is always a hard part for many of us) and get going with your exercising. After 3 days you have lost 1lb. Subconsciously your mind is telling you that you are starting to lose weight. Which you are.
But the next time you are tempted to cheat on your diet plan, you justify it by telling yourself you are losing weight, so it won’t hurt if you cheat.
By establishing long term objectives, you eliminate the risk of short-term temptations.
The vision you have created for yourself is long term. This requires long term commitment and objectives. By focusing your goals and objectives on the short term, your results will also only be sustainable for the short term.
This is why crash diets don’t work. They are not sustainable. Don’t confuse short term objectives with milestones. Milestones help you establish your goals effectively.
Conclusion on How To Establish Your Goals
So, let me wrap up this article on setting goals for your journey to success. We have established that by creating a vision of yourself in the future, you have something to work towards.
Setting realistic targets on your journey is important to staying focused on your goals. Don’t try to rush a lifestyle change. These things take dedication and time.
Create yourself short term milestones. One’s that you can achieve easily. You need a win early in your journey, so make sure you give yourself one. The more you achieve your milestones, not only do you feel better, but you are one step close to your objectives.
Focus on your objectives. Make sure that the objectives you set for yourself are the ones you need to make you into a better person. You must be in control of your mind when you establish your goals. Everything you do is from the inside out, not the outside in.
You must ask yourself, what do you want? Not what do others want of me. Nobody can make you unhappy. You can only make yourself unhappy.
Please feel free to leave your comments below and let me know what you think of this article or if there is something you would like to add. I would love to hear about the goals you have set for yourself and experiences you may have had.