This is first post in the Getting Started: Simple Supplements Series. I thought it would be appropriate to start with a post on the importance of goal setting. This is because it important to be clear about your goals and action plans before going shopping for supplements. Supplements are tailored for specific sets of goals and workouts so if you go shopping for supplements without a clear goal or plan documented, you could potentially waste your a lot money and time on supplements that are not optimal for your strength and goals. Plus, I thought I would add in some goal setting tips from my own personal experiences. Sorry in advance, if I get very self-help on you but I really think this can help beginners and anyone looking to embark on a path of achieving any type personal goal. So let us get started.
What Do You Really Want?
Picture yourself in a restaurant, lining up to put in your order. You wait patiently, and when your turn comes, the girl at the counter flashes you her professional smile and asks you, “Welcome to our restaurant. May I take your order?” And you reply with, “Yes, I’ll have anything with beef on it.”
Now put yourself in the girl’s shoes. What would you give to the customer standing in front of you? If you were in that position, you might want to ask some clarifying questions. “Are you looking for steak? Or do you want the beef in a patty, like in a burger? Or maybe you would like some cold cuts in a sandwich?” All of these questions will take that broad intention of “I want to have some beef today” into a more actionable “I would love to have beef in the form of sirloin steak with mash potatoes.”
The point is, that if you want to start achieving our goals, you need to go about setting them the right way. This is the importance of goal setting. Let’s go back to the example. Let’s assume this time that what you really want is a cheese burger. But you read an article the other day about the artery-clogging effects of dairy products. So you decide to skip the cheese burger, and go for a salad instead. You tell the girl, “I’ll have a salad please.” but your finger is pointing to the cheese burger.
Again you confuse the poor girl. She’s getting two conflicting orders from the same person!
It’s actually the same way when you set your goals. You need to first be very clear about what it is you want and don’t want. In fact, since human beings have a bias towards negativity, it might be better for you to figure out what it is you don’t want. From there you might get a clearer picture for you to decide what you want and how to get it.
And then you need to decide on one thing and just stay the course for as long as possible. In the process of effective goal setting, if you do it right, you’ll arrive at the answers gradually. The only key thing is to be honest with yourself about your own desires. Don’t set a goal to eat everyday when you really want the cheeseburger (flawed example, I know, but you get the point…lol) or run everyday when you really want to hop on the bike instead. You’ll end up burning out mentally, because who wants to work hard for something that they don’t even want?
So decide in advance the goals that are most important to you at the moment, and get clarity on how you want to proceed and how long. Remember that you can always come back to salad if you prefer that over cheese burgers or decide to run instead of bike.
Now you know the importance for knowing exactly what you want. It could be the first step to success or the kill your goal setting journey before it even begins. Without knowing what you want cannot create an actionable method of steps to achieve what you long for, like what I am going to explain next. Once you have clarified what you want, it is time to create a plan.
It is an irrevocable truth that any person who wants to achieve any goal in life whether financial, academic, spiritual, social or physical must have a procedure in order to achieve this goal. The following is a clear procedure to help you set goals and achieve them with ease (hopefully) and harmony.
Set Your Goals In Definite Terms
You should define your goals in definite terms. Saying that you want to lose a lot of weight by the end of this week is not definite. A definite goal would be, for example, that I want to bench press 315 by my next birthday. Definiteness has psychological effect in that it gives the mind a definite target to which it should work towards.
Establish The Time You Want To Accomplish Your Goals
Once you have set your goals establish the time you want to accomplish your goals. A time target will keep you focused on the pursuit of your goal. Also be definite in setting your time. Don’t say “I want to accumulate two thousand dollars in near future”. What does “near future” mean? A couple weeks? A couple years? I do not know and most likely neither does person setting the goal. It would be more definite if you said that you would want to accumulate the two thousand dollars within a span of two years. Plus this gives you a deadline. Deadlines are proven to force people into taking action.
Creating The Plan – Be Effective
Determine now a central place or person (mentor, informative book or website, or proven coursework) to help you gather information from to help you create an effective plan. More importantly, to give you a central starting point. This hinders a lot of people in setting and achieving their goals. Many people do not end up not achieving their goals because they either do not know where to begin (or what do at all) or improper planning due to lack of research and guidance. This is where having a mentor that has experience in what you want to do succeed in can pay dividends. For example, if I am looking to bench 315 by my next birthday then I should consult someone who has achieved a similar goal. I would consult one of my friends to competes in power lifting because he can give me good advice on how to create an effective and actionable plan. This leads to my next point.
Do not ever take advice from someone who has not actually done what you are trying to achieve. I do not care how many books they have read, how many degrees they have, how many people they know who “did it what you looking to do”, or how many studies or blogs they have read. They might have a useful tips for you here and there but that cannot substitute for real life guidance.
Mentors can coach you through some of the hardest parts of the struggle such as dealing with self-doubt or have the mental fortitude to push through barriers. Plus they actually have the results show from their own experience. Nothing can substitute for real life experience. Nothing. So seek a mentor and build a personal relationship with that person. Not only will it lead to better planning but it will also lead to greater self development. Your second option is the internet and books from authors who have experience and knowledge you are looking to do. I have found this extremely useful. I have created a lot of my plans from my favorite books. For example, I created my strength training plan from Marty Gallagher’s The Purposeful Primitive (a book one of my mentors suggested). Then I consulted my mentors about my plans and asks if they would change anything before I get started. This is process I usually go through in creating my plan.
1) Ask your mentors or experienced people in the field of interest…”Where do I start?”
2) Internalize your mentor’s advice and do your research and create a draft plan. Ask yourself…”What steps do I need to take to get to where I want to be? Let me dissect this research and advice piece by piece and then make a plan.
3) Consult your mentors/experienced people/experts for their analysis of and final opinions on your plan.
4) Use your best judgement and create a final plan. (More on how to write your plan in the next section.)
This might take a bit of time but it will pay off because now you have great plan that is backed by expert advice and research. This makes your chances of success much higher. Disclaimer: This does not be mean your plan is guaranteed to work. YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES. And that is okay. This is why you must document your results so can figure out what works for you and what does not. That is how we learn and grow. More on that later.
Know there is nothing as “something for free” You must prepare yourself to give something in return for your goals. Perhaps your time, devotion, old thinking, or breaking old habits etc. I have had to go through all of the above. Once again, it takes time and effort but you will get through it. This is needed to achieve anything meaningful in your life.
Create Environment For Success
1) Seeking quiet time and thinking about the plans that you need to carry out in order to achieve your goals.
2) Developing an effective plan of action. Making the steps you need to take to achieve goals.
3) Do I like my plan and will realistically follow it? If so, Great. Now let’s get started. If not, no worries. Brush it off and start over 😉
Because these statements demand an emphatic yes then it goes without say that thinking and developing an effective action plan will be of paramount importance in aiding you to accomplish your goals.
We need to figure these things out before we can analyze and execute our plan. Without clear answers and conclusions to the statements above, taking action and staying consistent will be more difficult than it need to be.
I hope you liked this post and digested all the information. Please share this others if you found this post useful. Leave honest comments below. Good luck and keep working harder and smarter. Talk to you soon guys.
To Your Gains, Health, Success, and Fulfillment
P.S. This is a book a have read a thousand times about achieving goals outperforming and I always refer to it when I feel lost. It touches on personal and professional issues. It also over everything I am saying in these first two posts much more in depth. Give it a read.
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