Think for yourself and set your own damn goals

happinessI find it surprising that so many people don’t know how to set good goals.  Those that are able to set goals often get out of the habit.  Do people forget to think for themselves?

It almost seems that many of us fall victim to our family circumstance, supervisor(s), customers, children and school projects.

Objective of this article: Think for yourself and set your own damn goals.

Coaches, trainers and friends will help contract and stretch you to be more ambitious or knock you down to be more realistic.  In either case, you set the goal, you are the driver of your body.  You are an adult and you get to decide where you want to go.

But I don’t know what I want.

Let me help guide you to simplicity:

You want to be happy

Being consists of a few things.
1.) Sex
2.) Drugs
3.) Rock n’ Roll

Crazy right?

Okay, I’m just kidding. (albiet there is some truth to my humor)

Most people want to have importance, feel better and have more.  As of this current moment that’s what I’ve been able to simplify things down to.  Being able to have importance, feel better and have more will result in more happiness.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be anything physical, but often it is.  As much as I’d like to get into a philosophical discussion about that, I will save that for another blog post.

1.) Importance or purpose
2.) Feel Better
3.) Have more

This all equals more happiness.

You, everyone and myself all want more happiness. Without over analyzing things related to fitness will give you the most happiness?

Lose 10lbs, Get in better shape, get stronger, get better, make more money, get better grades.

Sorry, but all of these are really sh*tty goals.  Really ****** dumb.

They are all arbitrary and have no specific meaning.  None of them are specific.  Like the famous, “lose 10 pounds” goal.  “I just want to lose 10 pounds.”

Yeah the 10lbs you gained recently or a few months ago.

I’d like to rant about that too, but I’ll also save that for later.

Losing 10lbs is a goal and a major undertaking for most people.  It’s a project that requires multiple behavior changes.  The actual behaviors requires a time commitment. Each behavior has a certain difficulty level.  Some are easy and some are more difficult.

Assess what you’re willing to do.  If you’re not willing to track your food or give up your morning doughnut, it might not be a good idea to set a 30 day 10lbs weight loss goal.  Set a goal of 3 or 5lbs.  Or maybe you reduce how often you have your doughnut, or maybe you can track your food 2 days out of the week.  Keep in mind the doughnut in this example could easily be weekend alcohol consumption.

Set some behaviors you know you’ll stick to.  Make sure they line up realistically with your goal.  Maybe drink one weekend day a week.

Know thy self.

No one knows you better than you.  So it might be a good idea to start paying attention to your tendencies.  I’m a compulsive eater.  If there is ice cream in the house, it will be gone in a matter of days.  Of course I’ll share it with my family, but lets be real, I’m going to eat more than half of it.  If there are peanut butter M&M’s in a bag in the trainer area, I’m going to eat some.

If there is a bag of Doritos cool ranch in my house, I will eat some and then eventually all of it.

I usually work Sunday thru Thursday.  It’s unlikely I will workout as hard as I do on Friday and Saturday (if at all).  I know me and I know how to plan my week.  You need to do the same.

Unless you’re overly motivated, it’s best that you set a behavior based goal.  Like exercise for 10 minutes everyday.  Eat one serving of green leafy vegetables everyday.

Too many fail at losing 10lbs.  Too many fail at accomplishing anything with their fitness in 30 day they can be proud of.  They can’t be proud of it because they set a goal they are not ready to own up to.

I’ll end this with a sports analogy.  60-70% of all shots taken in an NBA basketball games are lay ups. A majority of NBA games are effectively won with shot within a short distance.

In order to score in baseball you have to get on base.  Hitting a single is what gets you on base.  Then run home. Score points.

In football, it’s really protecting the quarterback.  He needs enough time to get the ball where it needs to go.  When someone has the ball the opposing team needs to stop him to prevent a touchdown.  Blocking and tackling.

These are basics.  These are fundamentals. Think for yourself and decide what you want to work on.  Pick 1 or 2 NEW behaviors to adopt.  If you are ambitious and want to see radical change, journal your food, prepare your meals and spend 10 hours a week working out.  If you’re less ambitious, eat a leaf everyday.

Reaching a goal is a habit

weight loss motivational quote If a goal is important enough, you’ll achieve it.  If it is urgent enough you will usually make it or get really close.  If it is do or die, you will get damn close.

Although I want to be a pie in the sky dreamer that believes it’s all about being gung-ho, I also believe that we all need a little bit of balance in our lives.  A fitness goal is more is just one of many goals and obligations on your plate.  You have a life that consists of work, family and other ambitions that aren’t fitness related.

So even though a big goal is admiral and worth while, we need to frame our targets in a way that makes sense within the framework of our current life circumstance.

It’s also been a goal of mine to get a ripped six pack and under 10% body fat.  Now, you can call it an excuse, but the idea of having a militant nutrition plan during the holidays just isn’t realistic with my life goal.  For me, I know what it would take to get that lean.  I understand nutrition and exercise.  I know that I could do it, but I choose not to because I don’t want to subject myself to that kind of eating lifestyle right now.  I’m simply not ready to do something like that.

Getting big and strong while mitigating fat gain is right up alley for my current circumstance.  It’s something I want to do and it’s something I enjoy.

The habit of doing something that reminds you about your goal is the missing piece that people forget to put in place when questing for any fat loss, muscle gain or body change goal.

For me, working out is a reminder of getting better everyday.  Getting better at my deadlift goals, my squat goals and my bench press goal.  Taking fish oil and eat foods that are anti-inflammatory are reminders that help my body recover after these intense bouts of strength training.

there are good habit and bad habits to reaching your fitness goal

When you’re aspiring to change yourself for the better, you must set trigger points for change.  Texting and/or having a conversation with a friend about your progress is a good reminder.  Signing up for my email list is another reminder (if you haven’t already).

Being part of a positive group of people that acts as a support structure can serve as a reminder.  That’s one of the reasons why I created fat loss with friends which is now turning into “30 & 7.”

I have a friend who is trying to quit smoking. He’s quit in the past, but has picked up the habit again.  We all know smoking is highly addictive, but what prompts him to go outside for a cigarette?  Typically after a meal was an obvious observation. But If I had to guess other reasons, they would be because of feelings of discomfort (sadness, anger, awkwardness).  Nicotine is an addictive substance, but the act of smoking is a learned habit.

Goal setting can also be a learned habit.  That’s the purpose of “30 & 7.”  To make goal setting a consistent habit.

The act of accomplishing a goal is lining up a series of habits.

To be successful at accomplishing any goal, you have to start with goals that have least amount of habit change or additions. It’s very difficult to accomplish something that requires you to adopt 4 or 5 new behaviors.

If you have big and complicated goal, the likelihood of success will be high if you already mastered other habits.  In my case, I want to deadlift 600lbs by December 2014.  I already lift weights regularly and can dead lift 505lbs.  I may need to gain weight or  I may need to figure out a new program and plan.

I have a goal to stay under 200lbs for the rest of the year. I’m doing that right now.  My natural set point is around 190-195lbs, so if i chose to diet I could get there within in a few weeks.

The point is I know myself.  Know yourself and set a goal that makes sense for you.  There is nothing wrong with being a little ambitious, but realistic which you commit 100% to.

6 more days until we start the next 30 day cycle of goals. I hope for you to join us.  Be a part of my email list or comment on this post.  I want people to enjoy making progress in their health, body, mind and life.


I invite you to set a 30 goal and work side by side with me. Intro to 30 & 7

What is 30 & 7


30 & 7 is a basic framework for setting fitness goals.  You have 7 days to figure out what it is you want to achieve within 30 day time span.  After you set a solid target to shoot for, at the end of the 7 days we start working towards that 30 day personal challenge.

Most interaction takes place by an email and on the Fat loss with friends facebook wall.  It’s up to you on how much you want to interact with me or the group.

It’s quite too often that we forget the basics of making progress.  Setting a target and working our asses off to hit that target.

Ideally, the target you set fits into your overall long term health and fitness goal, but some people are not quite there yet.  Some people can’t see the forest before the trees. So instead of explaining the purpose of the forest, lets focus on one tree, Then maybe we can get you to focus on the bigger picture of the future.

Success is measured by the rules you set for yourself.  It’s been my experience that people set ambitious goals that are near unrealistic to attain or they set no rules and let themselves go.

The purpose of this 30/7 project is to help bring a balanced approach to making progress in your health and fitness. There are no rules to this project other than the ones you place on yourself.  Ultimately, the project is your body and your mind.  It’s up to you decide for yourself what you will and will not do.

Here’s an example.

I set a goal in the last 30 days to squat 335lbs x 8 reps, deadlift 365lbs for 8 reps and bench press 265lbs for 8 reps.  I busted my ass to get as close as possible.  I hit my deadlift target but missed my bench press and squat target.  I wrote about it on this blog post.

Now I have 7 days to “take a break.”  I’m giving myself a chance to downshift to a slower gear  or park in neutral.  During this period I will keep working towards my goal or maybe drop my intensity depending on how I’m doing things.

During that 7 days, I’ll reflect and decide on some appropriate goals for the next 30 day “sprint.”

I’m inviting you to join me.

Today is day 1 of 7, on the 13th of November starts a new 30 day period.  Sign up for my email list by entering your information in the form below if you’d like to join me.