The setting of clear goals will be one of the key parts of achieving success. Being able to set goals and then carrying them out, will not only help you in being able to gain weight and lean muscle, but is also very important for all parts of your life.
Many people realize the importance of being able to set goals, but don’t really know how to do it. A lot of times, people have very vague goals, or even if they do have some clearer goals, they do not know what things they need to do in order to achieve them.
You can probably list many times in your life when you wanted to achieve something, yet failed in carrying it out. You might have even started going through the process, yet little by little this effort fizzled out. Try to remember the last time this happened to you. Think about why it happened. Did you set clear goals? Did you do enough to be able to reach them? Is this something that has happened often to you? Many of these problems can be avoided if you learn how to set clear goals and then put in the effort to be successful.
There are a few simple things that you can do, that will make the entire process of setting goals and then achieving them, a much more efficient process. The first thing you need to do: actually set some goals! 🙂 This might sound a bit like “duh”, however this is something that most people don’t do.
So now that we have the first and biggest basic mistake out of the way, let’s discuss more on how to go about setting goals. This entire process is about you and your life. And you need to be very clear about that in your head. Think about the big picture. What do you want to achieve in life? What things do you want to change? What things do you want to improve? Visualize all these things. At this point you should make a few general statements that form the basis behind everything that you want.
“I want to be happy.”
“I want to be fit.”
These are the basic statements that drive you. However by themselves they don’t mean much. You need to drill down in order to actually come up with some actionable goals that will let you achieve these overarching goals. You can start off by classing them in a few categories, for example money, work, health…etc.
So you start down with a very general goal: “I want to be happy.” What is the meaning of “happy” for you? What will make you happy? You determine that you will be happy if you achieve certain things in the different categories that you came up with. For example in the Health category, you have an overarching goal of “being fit”.
From the general picture, we are going on a lower level and making more specific goals. An important note is that when you actually start writing the goals down, change all the “wants” to “wills”. It looks like this:
General Overarching Goals:
“I will be happy.”
In order to do that I need to achieve certain things in these categories:
Then we pick the Health category in order to drill down.
“I will be fit.”
What does that mean to you? Look at yourself. Examine what type of problems you have. For example you determine that you are extremely skinny. So one of the more specific goals that will make you fit will be:
“I will gain weight.”
Once we are down on this level, we can use the SMART method in order to come up with actionable and measurable goals.
- specific – the goals need to answer these questions: who, what, when, where, why
At this level you need to be very specific about what you want to achieve. The goal needs to be clear. A specific goal should be able to be led to a concrete course of action.
- measurable – the goals should be quantifiable
However don’t leave the above goal too vague. You need to make it measurable. For example, we could start by gaining 5 kilograms of lean muscle. You do this by doing a gap analysis. Where are you at now and where do you want to be?
- attainable – the goals need to be realistic
The goal should also be attainable. So start off with small incremental steps. You might want to become the strongest person in the world, however at first you need to think a bit more realistically and once you achieve that more realistic goal, you can increase your goal a bit more.
- relevant – the goals should be relevant
So here you should choose goals that will help you achieve your overarching general goals like: “I will be happy.” For example, we will use the goal of gaining weight. You need to think about why you want to do that. What will this help you achieve? For example, you want to do that because you seem weak and people pick on you. So gaining weight will make you stronger, and have people give you more respect. Once you have all this, you will feel more assured and happy.
- time-related – you need to set a due date by when you want to achieve those goals.
You also need to set a time limit in how fast you want to achieve your goals. So here you would make the goal: “I will gain 5 kilograms in 6 months.”
So the result of this is a very actionable and measurable goal:
“I will gain 5 kilograms of weight and lean muscle and do all this in 6 months.”
Now you have a specific goal and a time limit by when you want to achieve it. What you have to do now is develop a roadmap and an action plan on how to achieve this.
The roadmap will consist of things that you need to do in order to achieve your goal. One of the things that it will have is a set of action points that you will do. For example you will start going to the gym 3 times a week and follow a routine consisting of heavy compound exercises. You will also start eating more. Here you can create a plan on how much, what and when you will eat. So these are some of the examples of actions points and more detailed plans on how you will carry them out.
Each of these action points should be subdivided into smaller more incremental goals, since it will be hard to change everything overnight. The roadmap should for example start off with smaller habit changes, which will build up into a more complete routine. So before starting going to the gym 3 times a week and going through a routine consisting of heavy compound exercises, you might say that the first 3 weeks you will be going to the gym and just getting familiar with how everything works and learning the proper form for lifting.
You might also sometimes be faced with unforeseen circumstances and so within the road map and action plan you also need to set priorities.
So now you have an specific goal and a road map and action plan on how to achieve this goal. Now you have to go and carry these plans out! 🙂
There are three main things that you need in order to achieve your goals: willpower, motivation, and environment.
Carrying out all the different things in order to achieve your goal is not easy. It will require a good amount of willpower. You will need to force yourself to do things you haven’t done before. Sometimes you might not feel like doing anything, but you have to force yourself to do them. You will also need to be disciplined. In order to stay consistent, discipline is very important. You need to have a strong commitment and stay focused.
You will also need to stay motivated. So that’s why determining why you want to achieve your goal is very important. You need to keep in your mind at all times all the positives that achieving your goal will bring you. This will keep you motivated.
Also the environment is very important. Keep yourself surrounded with positive people. Change up some of the things in your house. For example if you are not a good cook, buy some things that will help you to prepare your food, for example a small grill and a blender. That way you will always be able to prepare something quick.
There are also some other things that will help you achieve your goal. First write down your goals. Keep a list of your goals and refer to it often.
Keep track of your progress, for example by keeping a journal or a log of the things that you are doing. Also give yourself some room to celebrate when you reach some of those mini-goals that you set out for yourself. It will help keep you level and positive.
All this effort will be worth it once you achieve your goal. However once you reach your goal, don’t rest on your laurels. Assess the process to reaching that goal and see what can be improved in that process. Then set some new goals and keep on improving yourself! 🙂
Remember all these goals are just a small part of the bigger picture: Your Life!