Many folks have great intentions when they set goals.

While setting goals is a great thing, the problem with the majority of the goals that people set is that they are just general goals.  For example if your goal was to “get stronger” you can literally reach your goal of getting stronger in one workout.

General goals do not create any accountability.  What I have found works much better for actually reaching your goals is to set specific goals because when your goal hinges on a certain performance, it carries more weight and you will be more motivated to hit it.

When I returned to the track in 2015, I had the general goal of just running the 100 meters.  I finished the race but my times were not good and I got smoked in those early races.

In 2016, I had the specific goals of getting into the 11.5s in the 100m and breaking 24 in the 200m.  I fought very hard, but I was unable to accomplish those goals in 2016.

In the 2017 summer season, I smashed both of those goals as I ran 11.57/23.78 at age 33.  Without having specific numbers to aim for, I would not have been able to create the urgency or drive to run those times.  Let’s look at some general goals and how they can be changed to specific goals:

General Goals:
1) “I want to get stronger.”
2) “I want to get leaner.”
3) “I want to get faster.”
4) “I want to build muscle.”
5) “I want to build bigger legs.”

Specific Goals:
1) “I want to bench press 225lbs, deadlift 405lbs, and squat 275lbs.”
2) “I want to lose 10lbs of body fat.”
3) “I want to run a 4.6 in the 40 yard dash.”
4) “I want to add 10lbs of muscle mass to my frame.”
5) “I want to build 23 inch quads and 36 inch hips.”

Look at how the narrative instantly changes.

When the goal you set is specific it gives your end goals a frame of reference.  “Getting leaner” does not hold as much weight as “I want to lose 10lbs of body fat.”  Setting specific goals gives the process legs and it forces you to be accountable if you are unable to reach them.

If you fail to reach a goal, it can also inspire you to work harder in order to reach it.  Losers will fail once and quit forever but anybody who is about unleashing their inner greatness cannot be satisfied with falling short.

If you are a skinny scarecrow, as I once was, don’t settle for the cheap “I want to get bigger” goal.  Set a specific amount of muscle mass that you want to build and focus on doing everything you can to add that muscle mass.

If you are fat and flabby, don’t settle for the token “I want to lose weight” goal.  Set a specific goal to lose a certain amount of body fat and focus on doing everything that you can to drop that fat.

I’ll leave you with a story about a guy I know.

For years this guy had this vision of opening a gym and every year he would say “I’m going to open a gym.”  The problem was that there was nothing specific or concrete about this plan.  It was just a hollow, general goal.

He couldn’t tell you where the gym was going to be located or the name of it, but he kept saying “I’m going to open a gym.”  8 years passed and the gym was still not open.

Halfway through that eighth year something changed.  He actually set a date to open the gym in 2016 and began to aggressively look for a location.

He secured a location within one month after his specific goal was set.  The gym opened up officially in the first week of 2017.

how to set goals

Specific goals make you work harder…

That guy was me and that gym is The Center.  When I set a specific goal is when the job got done.

After you finish this article, write down 1 or 2 specific goals that you want to accomplish in regards to your physique or performance and put your energy into reaching them.

In order to maximize your chances of reaching a goal, make sure what you are aiming for is specific or your goal will continue to be drifting forever in the dustbins of oblivion.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,
Fitman