Does goal setting help you to achieve a better physique, or is it a waste of time?
It depends on who you ask.
When you think about setting goals, you think about the first day of a new year when you and millions of others make a vague promise to yourself to take your workouts and diet seriously. Just saying," this year, I'm going to improve my physique," is good enough.
There's no need to write shit down or set goals - that's for losers. "I go with the flow."
You tackle week one like your life depends on it. You're so pumped up and ready that the thought of sitting your ass down and going through a goal setting process seems like a waste of time.
For you, growing muscle and losing fat can't be done sitting and setting goals. There's more merit in just turning up and getting the work done.
The vision of your future physique is recognizable if you sit, shut your eyes and think about it. But that's too much like hard work.
Week seven rolls around, and the vision has faded like paintwork on an old car. Motivation or lack of it soon has you winging it and then missing the odd workout.
We won't talk about your diet because it will piss you off more. The best you can hope for is that you can pull yourself out of this nosedive and make the improvements to at least look like you train.
For the next few months, you splutter through whatever workout comes to mind until the summer bites you on the ass. This is when you tell yourself to take it more seriously because there's no hiding place in shorts, swimsuits, and tank tops.
Before you know it, the vacation you booked with your other half is just a matter of a few weeks away. This is when dumb and desperate solutions come-to-mind, like extreme dieting, drug-taking, excuses, and giving up.
But what happens if you are a goal setter and you can't seem to meet the expectation of the goals set for yourself? It can often feel like running on a hamster wheel and getting nowhere fast. When you set a goal for your physique, you end up losing your way or falling short.
This alone can be demoralizing to even the toughest mentality.
Setting Goals for a better physique can come with its own risk because we all can talk a big game on day one of the goal setting process.
I'm Psymon H, your online training partner, workout motivator, and the man putting his 40-years training experience to good use, helping people to grow their physiques and mind-set from weeds into oak trees.
In this workshop, you're going to find out how you can apply smart and effective goal setting to help you to achieve your best physique. We call these Mission Jacked Goals - and it should be your mission to do what it takes to achieve your goals.
All you have to do is promise yourself that you are all in, even if this feels strange and something you're not used to. The feeling you get when you achieve a goal is no different from feeling jacked; the only difference is, that you're feeling jacked from a mental standpoint.
We're going to start by doing what others don't do, and that is to set a goal that begins with the end in mind because if you aim for nothing, you'll hit that target every time. A Mission Jacked Goal is the physical results you're expecting to achieve by the end of a set period.
You can create as many Mission Jacked Goals as you feel necessary.
The bottom line is that everything you do from here on in is about results; nothing else matters. You won't add color to your Physique Vision and turn it into a reality without setting goals.
Before I show you how effective goal setting is for building a better physique and how to go about formulating Mission Jacked Goals, I want to talk about the importance of having a vision for your physique.
Having a vision is having a strong "why. "Vision gives a good reason, direction, and an overarching purpose. It helps to alien and define short and long-term goals.
Vision will also guide decisions made along the way and extend well past the goal setting stage. I would recommend setting your vision annually because setting this kind of visualization for your physique and then backing it up with goal setting that leads you closer to the image you set for yourself is a potent and energizing cocktail.
Vision has a motivational effect on even the most demanding training sessions, and in difficult and stressful times, having an idea of who you want to become will produce persistence and remind you of why you started.
The terms 'vision' and 'goals' get inadvertently mixed up. Vision is the destination that you visualize and want to achieve for your physique, but the route is unknown. This is where goal setting comes into play.
Goal setting helps you to set the path for the rightful achievement of your vision, acting as milestones.
However, many lifters who want to improve their physique set goals without a vision, leading to a counterproductive situation. These are two fundamentally different terms that need equal attention, for, without one, the other can't be achieved.
By the end of this section, you will discover the power of having a "Physique Vision Statement" and how to quickly create one for yourself so that your goals become more achievable.
Goal setting produces results and is the means to an end, and Vision is an end in itself. Goals require hard work, sweat, and commitment, which will take you closer to your vision each time you train. For example, if your vision is to build the body of your dreams, you need to set goals for yourself at every level and successfully fulfill them before you reach your vision.
Similar to dreams, a vision will remain unattainable when it's not coupled with goal setting. You can have a particular idea for your physique that can go on forever until you validate it with goals.
Here, one may also talk about workout objectives, which are nothing but smaller stepping stones that help you conquer your goals. To realize the vision of a better physique, you need goals and objectives.
There is practically no end to the human imagination. Similar to Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream" speech, which was unthinkable at that historical juncture, materialized into reality after a few years, the vision you have for your physique will stretch as much as your imagination.
However, goal setting is there to push you. Goals set are continuous tests of your abilities, skills, and perseverance.
It is impossible to improve a physique without lifting a finger. In more precise terms, one might have the idea of creating a better physique, but for that to happen, one must set goals and put those ambitions into action.
Anyone can develop a vision of how they wish for their physique to look sitting on the sofa scratching their nuts!
Usually, goals are a cluster of checklists and are relatively short-lived; after completing one, you move to another. Vision is more of a gradual process. It takes a longer time to realize your physique vision than your goals.
You need to be a goal setter and a visionary to take your physique forward in a challenging but exciting uphill adventure. After all, if you do not have anything to look forward to, how can you strive for more?
Initially, creating a vision and goal setting may seem awkward or difficult, but it is worth doing. After you know your vision, creating goals that are in line with your dream will come naturally.
Instead of feeling incomplete when you accomplish a goal, you will consider your higher purpose, which will leave you happier overall because you'll have your "why" firmly in mind.
Articulating your physique vision is the first step in helping you reach your goals.
A Physique Vision Statement is simply a statement that reveals what you most hope your physique to look like in the long term.
I want you to crystalize the vision you have for your physique. If you've never vividly thought about becoming a bigger and better version of yourself, today is the day to change that.
Follow these simple steps, and you'll be on your way to creating a Physique Vision Statement that will inspire and energize you.
1: Carve out a chunk of time because Physique Visioning cannot and should not be rushed. It's something that may take several efforts and false starts before the fog of thought clears, and you start to get a grasp of your ideal physique.
2: What do you care most about? This can be a big question, so a great place to start is to pick some core values that resonate with you from the list below. This will all make perfect sense as you move off the start line and begin to formulate your vision statement and pinpoint your core values.
Your vision should embody your values and your view of the future without being too generic. The point is to have an idea for your physique before you start the training aspect or start goal setting. You start here so you know why you are doing what you do, and you are happier doing it.
The same process applies when you create a vision for any other aspect of your life, such as your career, personal, and business.
3: Answer the following questions to help get your creative juices flowing. Think deeply about the questions and answer each one as authentically as you can:
How do you define a successful physique?
How would it make you feel when you reach the vision you have for your physique?
How would it change your life outside the gym?
How would it change you as a person bringing your vision to reality?
4: Put it all together. Using one sentence or a concise paragraph, write your "Physique Vision Statement." Write everything in the present tense, as if you've already accomplished it.
By doing this, you create the right frame of mind and confidence, rather than keeping your vision in the distant future. Make your image so clear that your fears become irrelevant.
To give you an idea, here's my Physique Vision Statement:
"I am more Jacked than I was last year, which has made me a stronger and better person inside and out."
Once you've created your Physique Vision Statement, keep it visible; that means plastering it in various places where you can see it, read it, and believe it.
Don't be afraid to speak the words out loud because this will help you imagine yourself achieving your vision.
Continually reinforcing the image of you in your Physique Vision Statement will benefit you both consciously and subconsciously and help you develop goals and action steps that will lead you to success.
Review your Physique Vision Statement regularly, but remember your vision can - and most likely will - change as you move closer to it. As part of an annual planning process, you should review your Physique Vision statement and make any adjustments you feel necessary.
Don't skip doing the "Physique Vision Statement" section because it helps your goal setting.
The problem with goal setting is it can become vague, imprecise, and open-ended. We're going to combat that by using a process they've been using in the business world for years. We're going to make 'SMART' Mission Jacked Goals.
For this SMART goal setting exercise, you don't need to wait until the first day of a new year, you can make a SMART goal today.
SMART is an acronym used in business to guide ambition. You’re going to take these same principles and use them to guide your physique aspiration. To make sure your Mission Jacked Goal is clear and reachable, it should be…
Let's break down the five areas. I will continue to use myself as an example so you can understand each stage of S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting.
Your Mission Jacked Goal should be clear in your head and very specific; otherwise, you won't be able to focus all of your efforts and muster the motivation needed to achieve it. When outlining your goal, try to answer the following two questions.
What do you want to accomplish?
Why is this important to you?
Your goal could cover any aspect you deem essential.
Here's an example of one of my specific goals –
"I want to increase my chest size and shrink my waistline." Notice, I
never said, "I just want to get big and lose a little fat," because
that could mean anything
It's essential to have measurable goals so you can track your progression and stay motivated. Regularly evaluating your progress or having someone else do it, will support your efforts to stay focused.
The result of implementing a measurable goal before you start any mission is that you will feel the excitement as you get closer to smashing your targets.
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
How will I know when it is accomplished? Just saying I want to have a bigger chest and a smaller waist isn't going to supercharge my efforts or hold me accountable.
What is more likely to help is having a measurable goal because things become real pretty quickly when there's a measurement attached.
Let me go ahead and add a measurement to my chest and waist goal. "I will improve my chest by an inch and degrease my waist by two inches." Now I'm almost locked in and accountable, right down to the last inch.
While your Mission Jacked goal should stretch your abilities, it should remain a possibility to be a success.
An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:
How can I accomplish this?
How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as the time factor and knowledge?
Let's go ahead and answer the above question, how can I accomplish this?
For this goal, I understand that I will need to make a few changes to what I'm currently doing concerning my training and diet.
Because I know about diet and training, things will be easier to work out. All I will need to do is apply myself to make sure I can accomplish the goal.
If you don't have the knowledge and know-how, don't just pack up and go home. At this point, it's easy to become vague because you don't have the tools to make it happen.
If the goal is important enough, you may have to seek an outside council (online coach/trainer) or do the research yourself.
Let's not beat around the bush, this stage of the process will be the longest, as it may take some planning and research before you have a proper take on how long it will take to accomplish your goal.
For me to accomplish my goal, I will need to undertake a 10-week lean bulk period followed by a period of 8 weeks where I cut back on my calories.
From a training point of view, I will need to spend my lean bulk weeks implementing different chest exercises, and training techniques and implying more chest workouts and volume.
If I were serious, I would need to go further and plan my workouts and diet before I make the goals official.
This may seem long winded, but what this stage is helping me to do is focus more vividly on the goal at hand. I can bet you any amount that I not only can focus more, but I can almost see the work as completed, by spending more time on this stage of my goal setting process. Depending on the depth of your goal, you may have to spend a few long weeks making sure that you have the tools available to achieve what you set out to do.
This step is all about ensuring your physique aspiration is credible. While it's not acceptable to undersell yourself, you are responsible for realizing your goal, so make sure it's realistic. In my case, I truly believed that if I worked hard, the goal I set would be significantly achievable.
If the 'Achievable' stage of the process requires work and research, you can easily put off and tell yourself that it's not realistic when in-fact you're not prepared to do the work needed to put yourself in the best position to win the day.
This is where you have to be truthful and ask yourself how much you want to achieve your goals.
Every goal set needs a target date (Start and end date). When you have a deadline to focus on and something to work towards, it gives you every incentive and motivation to put your ass in gear to make things happen.
Here's my deadline goal - By the 18th week, I want to improve my chest by one inch and decrease my waist by 2 inches.
Your goals could be very different from my example, but make sure whatever they are, they align with your Physique Vision Statement.
Create a Goal. Don't rush the process; take time to think any goal through. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Goal Setting Tip 1: Set your goals in Writing: You have no excuse for forgetting when it's written down. The physical act of writing things down makes the whole journey very real and tangible.
Goal Setting Tip 2: Frame your goal positively, so as you write, you use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might."
Goal Setting Tip 3: Post your goal/s in visible places to remind yourself every day of what it is you intend to achieve. Your bedroom wall, work desk, phone, computer monitor, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or car dashboard; are all great places.
Goal Setting Tip 4: Belief in the process. The first step to goal setting is having absolute faith and belief in the process. Believing Is Achieving.
If you have no confidence in your abilities, you might as well forget about your attempt to achieve any goals set. If in doubt, take time to look around your house. Everything you can see began as a goal in someone's head.
Goal Setting Tip 5: Stick with It! Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end.
Build-in reminders to keep you on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.
Goal Setting Tip 6: Remain Accountable - When working towards an aspiration, things may get tough, especially toward the end. When facing adversity, you have to hold yourself accountable.
Telling your family, friends, or your training partner about your goals may give you the responsibility you need, helping you gather the support system to provide you with a push.
If you remain accountable, you will also surround yourself with constant encouragement from those who are following your progress.
Thank you for reading this goal setting article. Now, don't just sit on this information, use it to achieve your best ever physique.