by Chris Piontek

Its that time of year again where people scream and shout, “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!!” I truly applaud the zeal with which they proclaim the new directions and motivations for their life. However, its no secret that by the end of February or beginning of March the fire starts to dwindle. By September those New Year’s resolutions are just a distant memory. Why do these people consistently fail to achieve what they set out to do at the beginning of the year? The answer is both simple and complex; they lack proficiency in goal-setting techniques. Now I am not saying that setting big goals is absurd, in fact I’m a firm believer of the saying, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.”

Now that I have beaten to death why goals are not being reached, here is what you can do to achieve better results. There is an acronym that will help to remember what kind of goals need to be established – SMART – or, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-targeted. Your goals need to serve a purpose and have a deep-seeded meaning to you or else they will fall by the wayside. Also, if you do not place a “must achieve by this date” with your goal, it will likely fail. So here is what I am telling you, when establishing a goal make sure it has meaning to you because I can guarantee that along the way someone is going to ask you “why?” and your uncertainty can derail your progress. After you have your “why” make sure that it is realistic, because if the goal is too farfetched then you will be less likely to attempt setting goals in the future and lose confidence in yourself. Next, develop a timetable for you to achieve this goal. What I recommend is starting with an end-date and backwards planning in order to allot sufficient time. For example, say I am looking to compete in a bodybuilding show in May, I know that it takes my body roughly 12 weeks to get into proper condition, therefore I know I have commit to a show and hire a coach around 14 weeks prior to show date. When you finally reach the targeted time you established in the beginning, you must be able to measure results. A goal that is often spoken of but lacks the capability to be measured is, “I want to be healthier,” ok, but everyone has a different definition of healthy and there are far too many variables. Instead, set a goal weight (either gain or loss), set a target cholesterol level, set a target physical activity marker (lets say, run a mile in 7:00). These all can be related to becoming healthier and are measurable.

The final steps to take are critical so listen carefully: WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN with the steps necessary to reach the goal — make sure it is somewhere you can see it on a daily basis, TELL SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR GOAL(S) – having someone to hold you accountable can help you push when you feel like backing off the gas, and lastly CHANGE YOUR MINDSET – the past is the past, do not let your confidence be rattled!! Focus on the future and believe you can achieve your goals. Believing in yourself in half the battle. So go get after your dreams, your future is bright and your potential is never-ending. Stay happy, stay hungry, stay humble, and WORK HARD.

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