This topic is near and dear to me because it hits home in every aspect of life. Reading and learning things is extremely important and is a must if you want to become successful. The second part of this is you must be willing to do and learn along the way. Many times I see discussions of people who can hardly deadlift 225 telling 800 pound deadlifters that they should “do this and that” because they “read it in an article.”
Their intentions maybe good and well, but until you get under the bar and really learn how it works, reading articles and tips won’t get you anywhere. You can’t just pull a 500 pound deadlift because you’ve read 20 articles on the subject and know the proper cues and leverages.
Just like the picture above says: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Whether or not you know the ins and outs of everything that you are trying to accomplish, you must do. I’m willing to lose weight, but until I quit putting so much food in my mouth, I’ll never lose the weight.
What Is Your Goal?
I’ve found that using the SMART principle works the best for me to create goals that I can achieve.
SMART stands for:
A specific goal will answer the who, what, where, when, why, how. If you can answer all of those, you will be good to go.
To make your goal measurable, you must have a measurable result. “Getting better at benching” is not a measurable goal; “Bench 315 by next year” or “add 5 pounds to my bench in a month” is measurable. There is no question if you’ve met the goal if you have not added 5 pound to your bench in a month or if 12 months later you aren’t benching 315.
Creating an achievable goal means to make a goal that you can accomplish. I’m not saying to stop reaching for the stars, but you can’t expect to be Mr Olympia within 2 years of training, no matter how hard you work. Anything is possible and keep that in mind, but when you are creating your goals, make them achievable. Nothing will squelch your motivation and drive than not achieving a goal you set out for yourself because you were stretching the goal too far.
A realistic goal sounds like it would be the same as an achievable goal, but this is more along the lines of ensuring your goal is doable, keeping it from being too easy or too hard, and really trying to draw you back into reality. I have a goal of deadlifting 800 pounds, and I have set up a SMART goal for it. The time frame I used was too soon and when I looked at if it was realistic or not, I had to change the time frame.
Time-bound goals are going to give your goal a set time frame or an end date. What good is setting a goal for yourself if you never set a time to complete it? That’s how we procrastinate and never get anything done. I’m talking from first hand experience here, and I suffer from it daily.
Regardless if this is a weight loss goal, a muscle gain goal, a specific poundage lift goal, going to your first powerlifting meet, or whatever goal in life this is, you must put a time limit on it. All of these pieces fit together and you would be surprised how much easier it is to complete a goal if you spend some extra time and really plan it out.
Create A Plan
Now that you know about the SMART system, time to implement it. You know what your goal is and you’ve read how to achieve it. There’s never going to be a “perfect time”; if you’re waiting for it, you’re never going to achieve your goal. Create a plan and stick to it; it’s going to be hard but if you follow the plan, you will achieve your goal.
Just Do It
Nothing in life worthwhile is going to be easy. If you want to bench 315, you’re going to have to quit complaining about the bar hurting your hands with only 135 on the bar. No amount of reading and learning is going to get your body ready to bench 315 unless you put the time in the gym and just do it.
Nothing feels better than accomplishing your goals that you have set out to do. I have many goals in life that I am realizing won’t get done unless I actually get off my ass and do them.
Have a specific goal you want to be held accountable for? Leave it in the comments section below and keep us up to date on your progress. Be sure to sign up for e-mail updates so you know when another article is posted!