Updated: Oct 31, 2020
It wouldn't make sense to get in a car and start driving without having a destination in mind. You can't possibly expect to arrive anywhere when you have no idea where you are going.
And that is why, ladies and gentlemen, having a clear sense of your goals is so important.
Knowing exactly where you want to go makes it possible for you to create an action plan to get there. Saying you want to "get in shape" is not enough. When deciding you want to improve your fitness, you need to get as specific as possible.
Are you looking to pack on muscle? Are you looking to lose weight? Are you looking to get flexible or more athletic? Or maybe you're looking to do all of those things at the same time. Have you thought about how you want your body to look? Are there certain areas you wish to highlight more than others? Do you want to be broad and muscular? Or maybe you just want a flat stomach and some curves? Do you care to have certain proportions, or maybe a certain type of symmetry?
These are all questions you need to be asking yourself.
Getting very specific will allow you to craft a truly customized plan to get you there. It will also allow you to better visualize your goal, and therefore achieve it. This is something I touched upon in my last blog about mental fitness. If you haven't checked it out, I highly suggest that you do. You can read it here.
There is a popular quote that goes "Life is like a compass. When you set your goals correctly, it will take you in the right direction." The destination you choose will determine the route that you take.
Building muscle, for example, will require you to really invest time and effort to learn proper resistance training techniques. You'll also need to make sure you're eating enough of the right things to help you grow. Losing weight will require you to focus more on cardiovascular exercise and reducing overall food intake. Becoming more athletic will require that you not only build strength and speed, but become more flexible and agile in the process.
Getting specific about your goals will also allow you to adopt the appropriate workout routine.
Those looking to pack on muscle will probably favor a weight training split designed to pack on the most muscle mass possible, while those looking to lose weight will probably opt for a routine mostly consisting of cardio workouts. I'll talk more about crafting the perfect workout routine in a future blog.
Okay, so aside from determining the direction in which you want to go, another important thing to consider is intention.
WHY is it that you want to achieve whatever goal you've set for yourself? Do you want to get in shape to be healthy? Do you want to boost your self-confidence? Is it to compete professionally? Or maybe it's to gather experience and eventually teach others?
Determining exactly why you want to accomplish your goal will further influence what direction you take. For example, someone whose goal is to be healthy will probably make more of an effort to seek out foods that are wholesome and nutritious. On the contrary, someone whose goal is to get as muscular as physically possible probably isn't as concerned about how healthy certain foods are. They are usually more concerned with consuming the foods that will help them pack on the most muscle mass possible.
This is really important.
Think about where exactly you want to go in your fitness journey, and why. Having clear and specific answers to these two questions will make it a lot easier for you to create a custom plan to help you get there. Once you figure that out, head over to my next blog post where I discuss the importance of proper execution. If you're enjoying this type of content, then sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the page so that you can be notified every time I drop something new.
Also, if you know someone who could potentially benefit from this type of information then please share this with them. My goal is to help as many people as possible improve their lives through better health and fitness. You can help me do just that by sharing this blog post.
For those of you looking to get ahead of the curve, I've created a free cheat sheet titled the 5 Critical Elements of Fitness Success where I touch upon 5 key areas you must address before you can start seeing some serious results. It's available right here. As always, remember that nothing works unless you do. Knowledge is worthless if you don't take action. Start today by applying what you learn. Thank you guys so much for reading, I'll see you in the next one.
Watch the video on this topic here.