Without goals we are like a ship on the middle of the see, just drifting away with no sense of direction. It just goes with the flow, so to speak, and if it ever gets anywhere it is just by mere accident. In order to achieve success in our bodybuilding program, our goal should be clearly defined and engrained in our brains. Otherwise, like the boat on the example above, if you get anywhere it will be by mere chance.
Have you ever noticed that some people go to the gym year after year and they always look the same? I have approached people like that and asked them about their goals. Nine out of ten times they don't have a clear definition of what they want. Therefore, if you don't know where your target is, how can you hope to shoot at it and get it?
As a small exercise, I would like you to take out a small piece of paper (or open up Word or your text editor in your PC) and I want you to write two things.
The first thing will be your long term goals. Be specific!
Write the measurements that you will have (Chest, Arms, Waist, Thighs, Calves, Forearms), your body fat percentage and your total body weight. Please, don't limit yourself to what you think you can achieve; write down what you want (However at the same time, if you are a male bodybuilder and you want 28 inch Arms, know that such goal is unrealistic. Shoot for 20 inches instead).
Go get that pad out now.... I'm waiting..
So did you write down your long term goals? If not, stop reading and do so now! If you are reading this paragraph I will assume that you wrote down your long term goals. Now, the problem is that such goals look so far away. Well, every long trip starts with the first step, therefore, now I want you to write your short term goals.
Short term goals should be analyzed every 6 to 12 weeks. Obviously, short term goals are going to be smaller than long term goals. However, by adding smaller short term goals, you will get to your long term goals in due time. When you write down your goals, be positive and have no doubt in your mind that you can achieve them.
This is crucial! So go ahead and right now write your short term goals. Do it in the following format:
For the next _____ (choose 6 or 12 weeks) weeks I will:
Lose ______ pounds of fat
Gain ______ pounds of muscle
Weight ______ pounds
Have Measurements of:
Once you have all of those goals written down, write down what ACTIONS will you take for the next 6 or 12 weeks to get there. For instance:
I will eat 6 balanced meals a day (1 every three hours)
I will wake up to exercise and do cardio first thing in the morning three times a week.
I will do 5 weight training sessions a week.
I will get 8 hours of sleep (7 minimum) every day.
I will drink 1 gallon of water a day.
I will only have 1 cheat meal a week.
Also, if you want to, take pictures of how you currently look (be sure to also document, current measurements, bodyweight, body fat, etc....). This is a great way to stay motivated as when you look at your pictures from now, and then you look at pictures of yourself a year later, you will see a huge difference!
Now that you have written all of this down, it is time to get to your actions. If you follow your action plan religiously and you miss your goals by a bit, DON'T GET DISCOURAGED! You should have seen progress anyway (here is where pictures really pay off; get a digital camera) and this is what we are shooting for; constant progress as this is what will get us to the goals we want.
If you missed the mark due to the fact that you did not follow your action plan to the letter, don't punish yourself for it. Just set your new goals and be more determined in following your action plan so that you get there this time.
If you mess up your plan for a day, don't drop the whole thing and quit! I see this very often! If you encounter one of those days, just recover the following day by starting the plan again.
Now that you have goals, go ahead and put your plan into action so that you can go ahead and achieve them.
Hugo Rivera CFT, SPN, BSCE. is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, multi certified personal trainer, industry consultant and fitness expert who not only knows training and nutrition theory, but also applies it on a daily basis as evidenced by the fact that he's always in shape and by his awards and high placings at numerous national level bodybuilding competitions. He is also an internationally known best selling fitness author with a very successful franchise of books called "The Body Sculpting Bibles" which collectively have sold over a million copies. Hugo is also author of the very popular “Body Re-Engineering” e-book, which teaches you how to gain lean muscle mass and get lean without drugs, or fancy expensive supplements, using the secrets he devised after many years of weight problems as a child. For more information on Hugo’s Muscle Building / Fat Loss Program please click on the link: www.losefatandgainmuscle.com