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Goals – You’re Doing Them Wrong
One of the biggest causes of depression, boredom, and unhappiness in general, is a lack of purpose. It’s responsible for a lack of career satisfaction, becoming bored afer retirement, not continuing a diet or program into a long-term fitness system, regaining weight etc.
People are driven to all kinds of destructive behaviours because of a lack of purpose. Hating the retirment they’ve dreamed of for all those years, regaining fat, creating drama within relationships – it all comes back down to boredom & a lack of purpose/goals.
The inverse of what we see so commonly (like the above) is a guy with a very strong, exciting purpose. This guy is very happy, rarely bored, and rarely indulges in destructive behaviours. This focus, excitement and continuous self-development creates a lot of happiness in his life on a regular basis. The long-term kind of happiness.
He doesn’t get bothered if the neighbours kids kick the ball over the fence into his garden. He doesn’t care if he gets cut off by some buffoon in traffic. He’s too busy to create drama (out of boredom) in his relationships. He doesn’t try to control others. He doesn’t get lean for the summer, and then gain all the fat back. He stays consistent, and only gains weight if he wants to lean-bulk, rather than accidentally.
Your purpose and your goals are crucial.
Your purpose should be the very core of your existence as a guy; the rudder of your life. The best way to quantify this and to measure progress with this, is to write down specific goals with specific timelines. Today I want to delve into how to do this properly with fitness.
How Not To Set Goals
Firstly, a good way to show you how to set goals would be to display poor examples of goal-setting. If you want more muscle, like I did when I was starting out, it may be tempting to set your goal as:
“I want to gain more muscle”
But this isn’t specific, nor is it measurable. So how on earth will you know when you’ve hit your goal? How will you know when you’re 50% of the way there? You won’t.
In order to keep accountable and on track, you need to use numbers with specific timelines attached. Otherwise you’ll end up being the typical person who stops making progress, falls off track, never to return again.
A better example would be:
“I gain 20 pounds of muscle in two years.” Miles better. You’ve got a specific quantity to aim for (even though you could definitely make the argument that it’s still very hard to measure, unless you get your body fat % tested), and you’ve got two years to get it done.
Now you’ve got these basic numbers attached, you can set checkpoints. For example, six months in, you’re 1/4 of the way there. This could be a useful time to see if you’re on track to achieving your goal. If you’re not, then it will give you a kick up the ass and get you into gear.
Whereas if you don’t have these numbers attached to your goals then you’ll have no idea whether or not you’re headed in the right direction, whether or not you need to work harder/back off etc.
This article was inspired by an email I read from Ed Latimore (you should definitely follow him on Twitter here, and sign up to his email list – it’s brilliant). The email was written in regards to happiness and its causes. The key take-away for me was the impact of the relative change on your happiness levels. Specifically, it’s not just about your absolute levels of success in:
But also about your progression within each. So, say you’re earning $75,000 per year; you’re pretty happy. But there is a degree of adaptation that occurs. Now, say you grow this income to $100,000 within a few months. How good is this going to feel? How ecstatic are you going to be when you see all these new clients/deals/sales? Very.
Same thing with muscle. When you first blast through a deadlift plateau, you’re ecstatic. When you see your traps and delts visibly getting bigger, you’re on top of the moon. But it doesn’t last forever of course. There is always the next challenge to overcome.
This is why goals are so important. They ensure consistent progression and forward momentum, which is just as important for your happiness levels as your absolute level of success.
Some things are absolutely better than others; being loaded versus homeless. Being jacked versus being skinny fat. But we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of relativity.
I hope this message is clear. Everybody should have goals. Self-improvement (or lack of) is probably going to contribute to 50% of your happiness (or unhappiness).
Go forth, set some exciting goals with appropriate numbers, and blast away. Life will be far better if you do. Just don’t stress yourself out.
Learn how to smash your goals, get lean without rebounding, and get brutally strong by signing up to my email list in the top right of the screeen (if you’re on a computer), or at the bottom (if you’re on your phone).